I Won’t Come, Col Ali Dares Senate

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…APC Moves To Broker Peace
BY AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA – The Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Col Hameed Ali (retd), on Tuesday told Senators that he was not going to appear before them. The Customs boss, who was directed by the upper chamber of the National Assembly to appear before it in uniform, said his decision not to appear is hinged on “a legal advice he received from the Attorney General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami.”
According to a source in the Customs headquarters in Abuja, a letter has already been dispatched to the Senate asking it to stay action, “pending the determination of an originating summons filed by one Mohammed Ibrahim.”

According to the source, “A legal practitioner has asked the Federal High Court Abuja to restrain the National Assembly from compelling the Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd.) to wear uniform in the performance of his duties.

“The suit, filed this week, named Ali, the NCS, the National Assembly, the Senate and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) as first to fifth defendants.

“The plaintiff, Mohammed Ibrahim is seeking for a court declaration that Ali’s appointment as Customs boss cannot be subject to the provisions of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) or any other law.

“A declaration that Ali who is not a commissioned officer of the NCS is not mandated by law to wear uniform and that the oversight functions of the National Assembly does not extend to compelling and mandating him to appear before it in uniform.

“The plaintiff is also asking for an order of perpetual injunction restraining both the NASS and the Senate from compelling Ali to wear uniform in the performance of his duties.”

Meanwhile, owing to the battle line drawn by both the Senate against the Customs boss, the National Chairman of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, is to lead a powerful delegation to the leadership of the National Assembly to broker peace. The delegation is also expected to meet Col Ali as part of efforts aimed at finding amicable resolution of the logjam.
 
The party explained that the move followed the controversy that has trailed the invitation extended to Col Ali by the Senate.
 
A statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi said the party national leadership has watched the issues with growing concern and the expectations that they would be resolved in a manner that would be agreeable to all the parties involved.
 
Abdullahi further said; “However, we wish to state that at this point, we have found it necessary to intervene. Accordingly, and the concerned party member. We are confident that the party’s effort to broker peace would resolve the matter amicably.”

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