By Abdulaziz Salisu
The Senate on Thursday asked the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali, to go back and dress appropriately after appearing before them in mufti.
The Senate unanimously resolved to turn him back, following George Sekibo’s motion, asking him to appear again next Wednesday in uniform.
“Coming was just one part of our invitation, another part is that you wear uniform. Why are you not in uniform?” queried the deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided the sitting.
Mr. Ali however craved the indulgence of the deputy senate president to refer to the letter forwarded to him on Wednesday.
After reading the content of the letter, he said the letter did not connote that he should wear uniform.
Responding, Mr. Ekweremadu said Wednesday’s letter was “further to the earlier letters which indicated that you should wear uniform. So this is a reminder.
“More importantly, this is official. We have expected military chiefs and the Inspector General of Police and they all wear uniform.”
“My not wearing uniform does not breach any law. No law, to my knowledge, that compels me to wear uniform. There is no law that says in doing my service, I have to wear uniform.”
Bala Na’Allah argued there is law that compels Mr. Ali to wear uniform, adding that the customs chief may be unaware of the law. “I am happy you said you needed legal opinion,” Mr Na’Allah said.
Senators Olamilekan Solomon, Barnabas Gemade and Barau Jibrin also took turn chide the customs boss, insisting he must wear uniform.
After the resolution, Mr. Ekweremadu explained that Section 2 of the customs law provides that all officers, including comptroller-general, must wear uniform.
“As number one officer, you should lead by example,” Mr. Ekweremadu concluded.