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Published On: Sat, Mar 11th, 2017

Custom Boss Dares Lawmakers: I’ll Appear Before Senate If The Right Thing Is Done

Custom Boss Hamid Ali

Custom Boss Hamid Ali

LAGOS MARCH 11TH (URHOBOTODAY: Hameed Ali, Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs service (NCS) has reiterated his stand that he will not appear before the Senate to explain his policy on smuggled vehicles and payment of duties.
The Custom Boss equally waved the issue down the issue of wearing Custom uniform saying he was not appointed to wear uniforms but to perform.

Ali told TVC in an interview that he had not receive a formal invitation, just as he promised to appear before the lawamakers if the right thing was done.
“I am yet to receive formal invitation, if the proper procedures for official invitation to chief executives or government officials are followed, I will appear before the senate,” he said.
The senate equally resolved to invite the CGC to appear in plenary with his uniform to either justify or falsify this statement.
In a direct response to the Senate, Ali says he was not appointed to wear a uniform.
“I was not appointed comptroller-general to wear uniform. Does uniform work or the person behind the uniform? If we suspect that smuggled items are taken into your own house, we have a right to cordon that house and search. Am I doing my job or not? I think that should worry the national assembly.”
Since his appointment in September 2015, Ali has been carrying on his duties in civilian attire.. Last month when he appeared before the senate committee on customs and excise duties, he was asked to explain the reason behind this.
“Mr CG, this committee will like to know the reason why you are still in mufti close to two years after your appointment as the comptroller-general of Nigeria Custom Service,” Obinna Ogba, a senator from Ebonyi central, had asked.
In his response, Ali said he does not wear customs uniform because as a retired army officer it was against military tradition for him to wear the uniform of another organisation.
After a question and answer session, Hope Uzodinma, chairman of the committee, had jocularly told Ali: “We are releasing you to go and sew your uniform.”
However, the issue of uniform resurfaced at the red chamber on Thursday. The senate had summoned Ali over the plan to set aside the directive of the lawmakers not to seize vehicles without paid duty.
Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west, who moved a motion on the issue, had insisted that Ali must appear in uniform.
According to him, “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,” he had said.
“I’m a member of the customs committee. I want to educate some of us, the position of CGC has a rank…. When he appeared before the committee, I asked why he does not wear uniform, and he said uniformed men don’t wear uniform twice.
“I reminded him that Haladu Hananiya retired as a general but when he was appointed as the corps marshal of the FRSC, he proudly wore the uniform of FRSC.”

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