Iraqi parliament sacks Ninewa governor in the wake of Mosul ferry incident

Ninewa governor Nawfal Hammadi al-Akub, Photo: Ninewa gvernor's Facebook account


The Iraqi parliament on Sunday March 24th, voted to sack Ninewa governor and his two deputies at the request of PM Adil Abdul-Mahdi after an overloaded ferry capsized in the Tigris River near Ninewa’s provincial capital Mosul killing at least 100 people, mostly women and children.

The MPs voted overwhelmingly to sack Nawfal Hammadi al-Akukb and his deputies.

Earlier Iraq’s PM in a letter to the parliament accused al-Akub of negligence and citing evidence he was misusing public funds and abusing power.

He urged the parliament to remove al-Akub in accordance with the provincial councils’ law which allows for the sacking of a governor by a majority of votes at the request of the PM.

The Ninewa provincial council decided to refer the governor for investigation.

The provincial council is committed to implement the parliament’s decision to dismiss the governor

The council convened on Sunday with the crisis cell formed by the government to discuss the situation in the province.

Nuraddin Qablan, deputy head of the council, in a press conference attended by KirkukNow correspondent, denied that the council had received a resignation letter from al-Akub before he was sacked by parliament, as some media reported.

 He emphasized that the council is committed to implement the parliament’s decision to dismiss the governor.

The dismissal of the governor came after the PM ordered the formation of a crisis management cell in Ninewa which included the president of Mosul University, commander of Ninewa operations and Ninewa police chief. The move also coincided with protests staged by scores of Mosul residents and relatives of the victims of the ferry accident who stressed that all those responsible should be held accountable.

The Iraqi parliament earlier formed a fact-finding committee supervised by the parliament speaker and headed by parliament member Osama al-Nujaifi.

On March 4, 2019, Osama al-Nujaifi, head of the fact-finding committee called on Iraqi PM to dismiss al-Akub and suggested travel restrictions on him, emphasizing that “the committee has revealed serious violations by the governor.”

Meanwhile, Ninewa governor filed a lawsuit against parliament speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi accusing him of overstepping his powers, saying that he didn’t have the authority to interrogate or dismiss a governor.

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