Senate summons Customs CG over ‘dictatorial leadership’, orders him to appear in uniform
The Senate on Thursday ordered the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali to appear before it over what it described as his ‘dictatorial style of leadership’ in running the Customs.
In a plenary presided over by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, the Senate expressed displeasure over the CG’s flagrant disregard of Senate orders especially as it concerns suspension of checking custom papers of fairy used vehicles.
Speaking through Order 42 and 52 of Senate Rules, Senator Dino Melaye (APC), representing Kogi West Senatorial District, reacted to a national daily in which the Customs was said to have dared the Senate over the resolution to suspend checking of custom papers of fairly used vehicles.
The matter in which Dino Melaye raised took a different twist, when he recalled that part of the Comptroller-General’s misconducts was his inability to wear Customs uniforms.
He explained that Col. Hameed Ali was conducting himself in government agency as if he is a dictator, and a Commander-in-Chief in a democratic setting.
“Mr President, Distinguished Colleagues, for Customs CG, to have the temerity, the guts to have dared the Senate, he has proved to be a dictator, and a Commander-in-Chief, and we must curtail him,” Dino said.
Suggesting moves to ‘de-wing’ the Customs CG, Dino insisted that he must appear before the Senate in uniform.
“We should remember that democracy stands on three legs. They cannot do without the legislative arm that appropriates funds for them and the challenge from the Customs CG was already undermining the Senate,” he added.
In his reaction, Adeola Olamilakan (APC), Lagos West Senatorial District, recalled how Custom officers razed shops in Ogun State and stole goods and monies of business people in the guise of enforcing Customs laws.
He expressed disappointment, stating that the Custom under Hameed Ali has worse performance of budget in the history of Customs.
However, the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan calls for caution, noting that being a vexed issue, the Senate should invite the Customs CG, to investigate the issue.
He added that it was dangerous for government agencies to ignore Senate resolutions which were taken in the interest of Nigerians.
Senator Atai Aidoko (PDP), Kogi East Senatorial District insisting for his sack, said, he was incompetent particularly that revenue generation of Customs had gone down from over N1 trillion to less than N600 million in a year.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, in his remark sustained the resolution that the Comptroller-General of Customs should appear before the Senate on Wednesday, 15th March, 2017.