The upper house of the National Assembly of Nigeria has threatened that it would recommend Hameed Ali, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, to be sacked if he does not adhere to its directive to put off the policy on the collection of duties on old vehicles.
The Senator representing Kogi West senatorial district, Dino Melaye, moved a motion during plenary session held today, March 9, that the Customs boss must be called to order.
The Senator described as a coup on democracy which is highly unacceptable, the reports published on today’s newspapers that the Customs would continue with the policy of collecting duties on old cars even though the Senate ordered otherwise.
On that premise, he prayed that Hameed Ali should be re-summoned and made to appear live in plenary and not before the senate committee on customs. He must also be in Customs uniform, Melaye added.
Speaking in agreement with Melaye, Senator Solomon Adeola from Lagos South West said:
“It is high time we put a stop to the high-handedness of the comptroller-general of customs. He has been acting as if he is the commander in chief of Nigeria. Take for instance the issue of Nigeria Customs uniform.
“He is receiving salutes and making parades in mufti. Under him, Custom is doing bad, they behave like gangsters. They are burgling shops, carting away bags of rice and stealing money from safe.
“He could be recommended for a sack if this continues.”
Other Senators including Marafa and Attai Aidoko from Kogi East supported the move. Aidoko said: “Hameed Ali is incompetent. The Customs revenue has dropped greatly because of his gross incompetence. He now wants to beef up earnings through the back door with this policy of paying duties. He cannot do that because it will cause chaos in the society.”
Speaking in the stead of the Senate president, Bukola Saraki, his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary in the absence of Saraki, said the actions of the Customs is becoming worrysome.
The Senate in its final resolution agreed that Mr. Haeed Ali must make an appearance before the upper house in Customs uniform unfaillinly on Wednesday, March 15 or risk being removed from office.
The Senators at the sitting, also discussed the clash between Customs officials and alleged rice traders along Siun-Sagamu-Abeokuta road on Wednesday, March8, which led to the death of at least one person.
Supporting the motion moved by Melaye, Senator Tejuosho explained that those killed were actually private car owners said to have been shot dead by Customs officers for not providing necessary papers.