Customs Uniform Saga: Presidency Backs Ali Against Senate

The driver of the SUV reportedly claimed that the vehicle belonged to the Senate President Bukola Saraki

The driver of the SUV reportedly claimed that the vehicle belonged to the Senate President Bukola Saraki

Former Governor of the defunct Western State and retired Major General of the Nigerian Army, David Jemibewon, has stated that wearing Customs Uniform to appear before the Senate will belittle the achievements of the Customs DG, Hameed Ali.

He said: "It would be belittling the position of the uniform of a member of the Armed forces".

Ali's thorny visit to the Senate occurred as the NCS' N8.5 billion virement request to complete its headquarters suffered a setback in the House of Representatives with the legislators querying the variation of consultancy fee from N206 million to one billion naira.

"The arrogant, stubborn and ugly little monkey called Ali that refuses to wear his uniform before the Senate is insulting the Nigerian people".

"And up till now, there is no information at our disposal that he has thrown in the towel".

A source told the newspaper that, based on legal advice made to the President by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), Buhari believes no law compels Ali to wear the customs uniform.

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"Over the years, both Customs and stakeholders have clamoured for a review of Customs law which was first enacted in 1958".

"The review is overdue to enable the NCS meet up with modern Customs administration under a template provided by the World Customs Organisation (WCO)".

"The law does not contain provisions to support the use of modern Information Technology (IT), such as use of electronic documents, signatures and payments as well as application of risk management, post clearance audit and special, simplified procedures for qualified readers", the official said. Indeed, the directive is a reckless usurpation of the powers of the Board which is the only competent body to decide on the wearing of uniform by customs officer.

Incompetence of the Senate to summon CGC on policy matters: Under the pretext of exercising its oversight powers last week the Senate summoned the CGC to appear before it to justify the policy on payment of appropriate duties from March 13-April 2017.

Jemibewon described Hameed Ali, a retired colonel, as a fine military man who should not belittle himself with customs uniform, Premium Times reports.

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