Customs CG Dares Senate, Ignores Summon

 

Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali
Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali

In what appears like an escalation of tension between the Comptroller  General, CG of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Hameed Ali, and the Nigerian Senate, the former has sent a letter to the  Senate, saying he will not appear before the lawmakers on Wednesday as  expected. ‎

A resolution was passed by the Senate last week Thursday mandating the Customs CG to appear before the upper legislative chamber, in his uniform,to explain the Service’s newly introduced vehicle duty payment policy.

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But Ali, a retired Army Colonel, granted an interview where he reportedly said he would appear before the Senate but not in the Customs uniform,adding that what should matter to the lawmakers was whether he was discharging his duties as CG effectively or not.

In the letter which was read on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday by the clerk of the Senate, the CG said he has a meeting to attend on Wednesday, hence his inability to answer the Senate’s summon.

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Reacting to the letter, Senate Majority Leader, Ahmed Lawan, described it as unacceptable and insisted that the CG must appear before the lawmakers on Wednesday as initially resolved.

Another lawmaker, James Manager said: “The integrity of the Senate is being tested” noting that the CG of Customs didn’t even “address the letter properly”.

Senate President Bukola Saraki then put the motion to a voice vote and majority of the lawmakers agreed that the CG of Customs should appear before the Senate in his uniform on Wednesday by 10.30 am.