SAN FRANCISCO, March 14, (THEWILL) – The Comptroller-General, C-G, of the Nigeria Customs Service, NSC, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (retd) says he cannot appear before the Senate on Wednesday because the day coincides “with the fortnightly meeting of the NCS management”.
The Customs boss was summoned to appear before the Senate in plenary on Wednesday over the plan of the agency to collect duty on vehicles that had already been imported into the country.
The lawmakers had told Ali, who has insisted on putting on civilian attire, to appear in complete Customs uniform, prompting the C-G to say he was not appointed to wear uniform.
But in a letter to the Senate and signed by an Assistant Comptroller-General, Ali asked the Senate to differ the date of his appearance against the backdrop that the summon coincides with the Routine Management meeting of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS.
According to the letter, which was read at plenary by the Clerk of the Senate, “I’m directed to acknowledge the receipt of your letter no NASS/CS/8S/09/29 of 9th March 2017 on the above subject matter. I have been further directed to tell you that the date given to the comptroller-general of the Nigerian Customs Service Wednesday 15th March 2017 to brief the senate in plenary on the retrospective duty payment of vehicles in Nigeria has coincided with the fortnightly meeting of the NCS management,” read the letter signed by Azawoma A, an assistant comptroller-general.
“The comptroller-general is humbly requesting the new date from the distinguished senate, as we wait your favourable response please be assured of the highest regards and also of the comptroller-general of customs.”
The Senate however kicked against the position of Ali, insisting that he must appear.
In his remarks, the Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, pointed out that Ali failed to show respect to the senate by not signing the letter himself.
He however suggested that a new date be fixed for him to appear, pointing out that two wrongs cannot make a right.
Lawan’s position was however rejected by Senator James Manager, Delta South who urged the senators to be firm as the position of the upper chamber was being tested.
Manager’s position was unanimously upheld by his colleagues as the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who presided over plenary, insisted that the customs boss must appear in Customs uniform tomorrow.