- Insist he appears on uniform
The letter from the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd) to the Nigerian Senate on why he cannot honour his summon last week has further enraged members of the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
Majority of the Senators that was present during the plenary on Tuesday took their frustrations to the Clerk of the Senate.
Tempers flared when the Clerk as directed by the Senate President Bukola Saraki read out the letter from Ali and signed by one Azerima A. who is an Assistant Comptroller General in the Nigerian Custom service (NSC).
“I am directed to acknowledge your letter on the invitation of the Comptroller General to appear before the Senate on uniform in respect to his recent directive on payment of import on vehicles.
“I am further directed to inform the Senate that the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Custom service can not appear on the said date as it coincides with weekly management meeting of the Nigerian Custom service (NCS)” part of the letter written by Azerima A. read.
In his reaction, the Senate leader Ahmed Lawal said the excuse given by the Comptroller General for not appearing before the Senate is not acceptable. “The excuse that the date of appearance before the Senate coincides with the weekly meeting of NCS management meeting is acceptable. NCS management meeting does not take precedence over the invitation by the Senate” Lawal said.
He also observed that the letter was signed written and signed by Assistant Comptroller General instead of the Comptroller General. “The letter was written and signed by Assistant Comptroller General, it is a mark of disrespect for the institution of the National Assembly” Lawal added.
The Senate leader pleaded with his colleagues to allow the Comptroller General appears before the Senate on Thursday as two wrongs cannot make right.
But in a quick follow up, Senator James manager said the integrity of the Senate is been tested and disagree with the plea of the Senate leader. “When a letter like this is coming from the executive, the Senate must be firm” Manager said.
He insisted that that Comptroller General must appear before the Senate on uniform on Wednesday. Manager position was supported by the majority of the Senators present at the plenary.
In his ruling the Senate President Bukola Saraki said the position of the majority is the position of the Senate. He said the position of the Senate remains the same and the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Custom Service must appear on Uniform before the Senate on Wednesday.