The Senate Thursday walked out the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Hameed Ali for not wearing uniform as ordered and asked him to return next Wednesday in complete Customs uniform.
Senators asked Ali to leave the plenary because rather than wear Customs uniform, he appeared in a white kaftan dress with white cap and black shoes. According to them, Ali is not a sole administrator; as Customs CG, he has to be dressed as such to appear before them because anybody can wear a mufti and claim to be the NCS boss.
The lawmakers disagreed with Ali that no law compels him to wear the Customs uniform as one of them recalled that Ali was one of those who got the current uniform introduced in 2004.
Ali, who arrived the Senate at about 9.30am was ushered into the chambers at 12.05 pm and was promptly asked by Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the sitting, why he was not in uniform.
Ali After introducing himself to the lawmakers, the Customs boss, who noted that he has no knowledge of any that law compels him to wear the agency’s uniform, said that his letter of appointment did not ask him to wear uniform.
The Senators, however, took a swipe at him, citing sections of the Customs and Excise Act to affirm the need for him to wear uniform. Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, who provided a detailed background to Ali’s invitation, said that the Act setting up the Customs Service provide that the Comptroller-General should wear uniform, even as he said that the motion leading to Ali’s invitation was moved by him, upon sighting the circular on old vehicles issued by the Customs.
It took the Senators some 40 minutes to deliberate on Ali’s matter before he was sent out of the chamber for what the lawmakers termed “improper dressing.” The Customs boss who came with Customs officers who all wore uniform, was asked to leave the chamber at12.40 pm.