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Hameed Ali under fire as Senate invokes power



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The Senate at their plenary earlier today, unanimously passed a motion insisting that Customs C.G, Col Hammed Ali (rtd) must appear before it tomorrow Thursday 16 even if it means being arrested.

National Daily gathered that the presidency may have waded into the crisis between the Nigerian Customs Service and the Senate to avoid a showdown.

The Senate had summoned Ali to appear before it, in his full Customs regalia, but the CG said he would not wear the uniform.

Buhari, a source in the presidency told National Daily, has cautioned his appointees to avoid any confrontations with the legislature that would pit it against the executive.

In this regard, the president was said to have directed Ali to honour the Senate’s summons to prevent an escalation of the stand-off between both sides.

Ali had written to the Senate informing it that he would not be able to honour the summons, as he was due to attend a fortnightly meeting of the NCS management.

National Daily gathered that the letter, which was signed by Azarema A., Assistant Comptroller General of Customs angered the senators. However, the legislative body turned down the excuse of the CG which they consider to be too lame; insisting that he must show up as scheduled.

The lawmakers were even more slighted by the fact that the CG did not deem it important to write and sign the letter instead of allowing a subordinate in his office reply the Senate.

The decision of the Senate came at the time that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) suspended the implementation of its policy for duty payments on old vehicles.

The Customs service said that the suspension was placed in order to resolve issues with the Senate Committee on Customs.

The Acting Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Mr Joseph Attah, said Wednesday in Abuja that the Management of Customs had directed that the exercise be put on hold and expressed its readiness to engage the Senate Committee on further discussions.