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Senate Insists Customs Boss Hammed Ali Must Wear Uniform

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Senate on Thursday turned back the Comptroller  General (C-G) of Customs, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd) for appearing  without uniform.

Senators by  a voice vote directed  him to return to the senate on Wednesday, March 22 in proper uniform designated for the office  of Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service.

Shortly before the resolution, some senators expressed concern over  Ali’s defiance of the  National Assembly by appearing in mufti despite the letter sent to him, specifying that he should  appear in uniform.

The Deputy Leader of the Senate, Bala N’Allah said letters were sent to the C-G to appear before the senate to give explanations on  the proposed  duty payment on vehicles imported into Nigeria.

N’Allah  who quoted Section 10 of the Customs Act, among other sections, said the section was clear about  punishment for unlawful behaviour of any officer, “including any person who assumes the name, designation or character of an officer.

“The Act further states that  the power to prosecute is that of executive and  certain officers including CG has  that power.

“This implies that your position is statutory, meaning you must conform to the Act.

“Besides, wearing uniform is anchored in the Constitution.”

The Customs boss said the senate  letter dated March, 15 did not stipulate he wears a  uniform before appearing.

He further said he was already seeking legal interpretation to the wearing of uniform.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary said it was proper for the C-G to wear uniform as a form of motivation for other officers.

He also explained to him, that though the letter dated March 5 did not indicate the wearing of uniform, the condition  was included in previous letters. Ekweremadu said Ali did not have a good  excuse to defy the senate..

“Section 2 of the Customs Act defines the officer to include C-G.

“I believe too that there  are certain things officers take for granted which is wearing uniform. They should learn from you.

“With your refusal to wear uniform, they can also  refuse to wear uniform, saying  there is no law that compels them to wear uniform.

“There is no better  teacher than living by example.

“Also, you  suspended the vehicle policy. It does not mean you will not come back to it, since it is only a suspension.

He said the senate was of the view that he return to the senate in the  proper uniform of C-G of Customs./NAN

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