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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

WHY CUSTOMS CG WON’T APPEAR BEFORE SENATE


 Comptroller General (CG) of Nigerian Customs Service Col. Hameed Ali (retired) will not appear before the Senate today for legal reason.

The Senate last week sent away the customs boss for appearing in mufti over a new duty policy.


A maritime lawyer, Muhammed Ibrahim, filed a lawsuit on Monday at the Federal High Court Abuja against the senate’s decision.

He said, among others, that there is no law that requires Colonel Ali, a non career officer, to wear uniform.

The court papers have been served on the Senate, Ali himself and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN.

Malami yesterday wrote to the Senate “to stay all actions in the matter” to allow the court case to be concluded first.

Malami said he had been served with an originating summons in respect of a case wherein the plaintiff is seeking to know whether the Senate can compel the CG to wear uniform.



Part of the letter reads: “The originating summons is seeking among other declarations “whether the oversight functions of the National Assembly extends to compelling and / or giving directives to the CG, NCS to wear uniform.



“In line with the principles of rule of law, Court decisions and most importantly, the declarations sought having been deeply rooted in the constitutional provisions; I hold the view that this matter is subjudice.

“In view of this, it is in the interest of justice and rule of law to stay all actions in this case until the constitutional issues raised in the matter are resolved by the law Court. I wish to further intimate you that as a defendant in the said suit, I intend to file processes and pursue it to a logical conclusion.”

The Customs boss was at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday and hinted that he would not be at the Senate today in view of the pending court case.

The Customs CG stated this while addressing State House correspondents.

He maintained that his appearance at the Senate plenary would be subjudice.

Ali explained that he had secured the writ of summons from the case filed over the issue by a concerned individual.

He stated: “The case is in court already. Somebody has sued us. It is subjudice. I have gotten my writ of summons and they said status quo should remain ante; which means nothing moves until the court makes a pronouncement.

“A private individual sued all of us; he wants an interpretation of the section that is in contention. I don’t want to talk so that I am not held in contempt of court.”

Senate spokesman, Sen Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, confirmed that the AGF’s letter had been received by the Red Chamber.

He, however, could not give further details of its content saying he was not privy to it.

“There is a communication, although I have not seen the content. So, I won’t be able to make any categorical comment on it,” he said.

The letter would be read at todays plenary, it was learnt.


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