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Failure to appear before Senate, Hammed Ali risks arrest

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  • Ordered to appear on Thursday 


…Austin Obande 


The Nigerian Senate has resolved to compel the Comptroller-General Customs, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd) to appear before the upper chamber of the National Assembly on Thursday, to explain issue of proposed retrospective duty payment on vehicles in Nigeria or risk being arrested.


The decision was taken on Wednesday, after the Senate President Bukola Saraki read out another letter from Ali explaining reason he cannot appear before the Senate.


In his reaction, Senator Kabiru Marafa expressed his displeasure over the position of the Comptroller-General on the Nigerian Customs Service (NSC).


“I am against anybody trying to rubbish any institution of government. Government is not about making money; it is about the welfare of the people. Our people are suffering and we cannot watch anybody to jeopardize this government,” Marafa said.


Also speaking, Senator Thompson Sekibo said the issue is now a constitutional matter. He added that it is beyond the Controller General of the Customs and the Senate.


Sekibo said if the embattled Customs boss fail to appear before the Senate, a warrant of arrest should be issue on him by the Senate in line with section 89 of the 1999 constitution as amended”.


In line with his reaction, Sekibo moved a motion that the Senate does compel the Comptroller-General to appear before the Senate on Thursday and if he fails, the Senate should issue a warrant of arrest on him inline section 89 of the constitution.


But effort by Senator Olusola Adeyeye to plea with his colleagues to amend Sekibo’s motion was rejected by the Senators.


The motion was later seconded by the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu. He said it is not about the person of Ali or about the Senate but about the legality of the law.


“What we are doing is to ensure we protect ordinary Nigerian against unlawful act” Ekweremadu said.


In his ruling rulings the Senate President Bukola Saraki said they here to protect the law as nobody is above the law.


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