Senate tells Customs CG to resign

Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali
Nigeria’s Senate President, Bukola Saraki

The senate has called for the resignation of Hameed Ali, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for failing to appear before the upper chamber today.

The senate also declared Ali unfit to hold public office and condemned a letter written by Abubakar Malami, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) to explain why Ali cannot appear before them.

Malami in the letter told the lawmakers that the comptroller-general could not appear the lawmakers because the matter of his uniform was in court.

The resolutions of the upper legislative chamber was sequel to prayers moved by Enyinnaya Abaribe, senator representing Abia south.

The resolution calling on Ali to resign followed his failure to appear before the Senate, contrary to a directive of the upper chamber.

The senate had on Thursday asked Ali to appear before it at 10 a.m. on Wednesday in Customs uniform to explain the rationale for directing that vehicle owners should be pay duty on their cars.

Prompted by Ali’s seeming disrespect by refusing to appear before the senate as directed, senators at exactly 10.32 a.m. went into a closed-door session apparently to assess the situation and make a resolution.

Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali

The senators had on Thursday, turned back the comptroller-general from the chamber for not appearing in uniform, and rescheduled his appearance to Wednesday, with definte position that he should appear in Comptroller-General of Customs uniform.

The senate had first invited Ali to appear before it on March 8 to brief it on the proposed policy for payment of Customs Duty by vehicles owners, no matter the age of the vehicle.

However, Ali did not honour the invitation on the ground that he had a management meeting.

Not satisfied with the reason, the senate issued a warrant mandating Ali to appear on March 16.

But, on Tuesday, Ali told State House correspondents that he would not be at the senate, citing advice from the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) as reason for his decision.

He said that he had written to the senate on the development, explaining that a case had been instituted at the court on the matter.

He said the AGF wrote to him, asking him and all parties to stay action on his summon to appear at the Senate in uniform, pending the determination of an originating summons filed by one Mohammed Ibrahim.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered from a reliable source in the National Assembly that though the appearance of the CG was listed as the fourth item on Wednesday’s Order Paper, he would not appear before the senate.

The item on the Order Paper was captioned “Briefing by the Comptroller-General of the Customs and Excise’’ and slated to be moved by the Leader of the Senate, Sen. Ahmed Lawan.

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