The embattled Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Colonel Hameed Ali (retd), on Tuesday said he won’t appear before the Senate on Wednesday as expected.
Ali, who was spotted coming out of the Mosque at the Presidential Villa, besides the President’s office, where he observed the 4 pm prayer, was cornered by State House correspondents to confirm if he will appear before the senate in uniform on Wednesday.
It is understood that he said it would now be subjudice should he comment as the matter was now in court.
Ali said: “The case is in court already. Somebody has sued us. It is subjudice. I have got my writ of summons and they said status quo should remain ante which means nothing moves until the court makes a pronouncement.
”A private individual sued all of us, he wants an interpretation of the section that is in contention. I don’t want to talk so that I am not held in contempt of court”.
Also in confirmation, Joseph Attah, NCS spokesperson, said his boss will not be honouring the mandatory appearance which senators issued to him last week.
According to Attah, Ali’s decision not to appear before the Senate on Wednesday was based on a written instruction from the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
The spokesperson further said Mr. Malami was acting based on a writ of summons filed by a lawyer in Abuja.
The lawyer, identified as Mohammed Ibrahim, dragged Mr. Ali, the Senate, the Attorney General and the Nigerian government before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, seeking judicial intervention in the ongoing controversy about Mr. Ali’s refusal to wear Customs uniform.
Mr. Attah said Mr. Ali “just received a written advice from the Attorney-General’s office urging all parties to stay action on the matter.”
The spokesman further stated that, “based on that new development,” Mr. Ali “will not be appearing before the Senate tomorrow.”