The senate today ordered Comptroller General of Custom, Hameed Ali, to appear before it on March 15th in his complete Customs Officers uniform. The senate gave the order following the refusal of Customs to comply with its directive to suspend the collection of duty on old vehicles. Hameed who is a retired Nigerian Army Colonel, has never worn the Customs officers uniform since assuming
office in August 2015.
The senate during plenary on Tuesday ordered the Nigeria Customs Service to suspend its directive to collect duties on old vehicles whose importer might have failed to pay for duties while importing the car into the country. Customs had sent out a circular informing old car owners to go to the nearest Customs office to verify if the duties of their cars were fully paid for as cars with unpaid duties would be impounded.
Despite the senates directive to suspend the order, Customs says it would go ahead with its own directive. This decision apparently irked the senators who during its plenary today ordered that the Customs Boss, Hameed Ali appear before them on March 15th.
Speaking during the deliberation, Dino Melaye said
"The senate will take a resolution and an agency of government will have the temerity, will have the guts, the strength to blatantly disregard the Nigerian senate. It is a very dark day for democracy. I’m a member of the customs committee, I want to educate some of us today, the position of CGC is rank, as I speak today, the deputy controller of customs is next promotion is CGC.
I asked him in the committee why he is not wearing uniform rank and he said uniformed men don’t wear uniform twice. I reminded him that he retired as a colonel and General Ananiah retired as a general and was appointed as the corps marshal of the FRSC, and proudly wears the uniform of the road safety. If we are taking a decision of the people and agency disrespects the Nigerian senate, however we will need to check this properly. If they are taking duty on Nigerian road but if the president is passing no customs officer will stop him and ask for papers, they will salute and they will pass. The senate resolves that we invite the CGC to appear in plenary with his uniform to either justify or falsify this statement.”he said