The Senate has ordered the Comptroller General, CG, of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Hameed Ali, to reappear before it in his complete uniform next week Wednesday.
The lawmakers were unhappy that Ali was not in his uniform when he appeared before them on Thursday. Ali, who could not answer the Senate’s summon on Wednesday as initially directed, arrived at the National Assembly complex on Thursday at about 10.am wearing a white kaftan.
When Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, demanded to know why the Cutoms CG is not in his uniform, Ali replied that there was no law that forbids him from not putting on a uniform.
In his reaction, one of the lawmakers, Ibn N’Allah, said that the circular issued to the Senate by the CG stating that he will not wear his uniform is derogatory. Na’Allah cited Sectns 7, 8 and 10 of the Customs Act which states that the Customs shares same privileges with police and other institutions and as such should be appropriately dressed just like the heads of these other institutions.
Another lawmaker, Bello Jibrin, insisted that “CG needs to go and apply the law of the land by wearing uniform before he addresses us, as stipulated in our constitution.”
But Ali Wakili pleaded with his colleagues to “tamper justice with mercy” adding that the CG “is a man of integrity” and that the lawmakers should liaise with him. Similarly, Rivers State lawmaker, Magnus Abe, pleaded with the CG to wear his uniform in order to preserve the image of the customs and the perception of other institutions.
But another lawmaker from Rivers State, George Sekibo said that Ali must reappear before the plenary in his uniform. His motion was seconded by Barnabas Gemade who insisted that it is important and respectable for the CG to always be in his uniform. Ekweremadu subsequently put the motion to a voice vote and the majority carried the day.