The Senate on Thursday resolved that Customs Controller General, Col Hameed Alli (Retd) must address them clad in his uniform, describing his letter insisting he would come in mufti, contrary to their directive as “derogatory.”
In a voice vote, the Senate mandated Alli to return to the Senate on March 22, 2017, despite appeal by Senator Ali Wakili that members of the upper chamber temper justice with mercy because the Customs CG “is a man of integrity.”
The brickbats started when Deputy Senate President Ike Ekwerenmadu, who chaired the session, while welcoming the CG to the chamber said: “Please oblige us if you have any reason for not wearing the Customs uniform and the CG says no law against no law against him not wearing uniform.”
It would be recalled that the Customs boss was quoted as once saying that he was not appointed to wear uniform.
The circular issued by the Customs CG to the effect that he would not wear his uniform is derogatory, noted Senator Ibn Na’Allah, who thereafter cited Sections 7,8 and 10 of the Customs Act which states that the Customs shares same privileges with the Police and other paramilitary organizations.
Contributing to the discussion, Senator Barau Jibrin told his colleagues: “The CG needs to go and apply the law of the land by wearing uniform before he addresses us, as stipulated in our constitution.”
Senator Magnus Abe urged Col Alli to wear his uniform to preserve the image of the Customs and perception of other institutions, following which Senator George Sekibo moved that the CG be ordered to reappear before the chamber in his uniform.
He was seconded by Senator Barnabas Gemade, who said it was respectable and important for the CG of Customs to wear his uniform.