Contrary to the directive of the Senate, the Comptroller-General of Nigerian Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (retd), today failed to appear before the lawmakers at the upper chamber.
Last Thursday, the senate had summoned Ali to appear before it at 10 a.m. on Wednesday in Customs uniform to explain the rationale for directing that vehicle owners should be pay duty on their cars.
Following Ali’s apparent defiance to honour the invitation by the legislators, senators at exactly 10.32 a.m. went into a closed-door session in order to assess the situation and make a resolution.
It would be recalled, the Customs boss was refused entry into the chamber on Thursday by the senate after he appeared without his uniform.
The lawmakers subsequently rescheduled his appearance to Wednesday, with definite position that he should appear in Comptroller-General of Customs uniform.
The senate had first invited Ali to appear before it on March 8 to brief it on the proposed policy for payment of Customs Duty by vehicles owners, no matter the age of the vehicle.
However, Ali did not honour the invitation on the ground that he had a management meeting.
Not satisfied with the reason, the senate issued a warrant mandating Ali to appear on March 16.
But, on Tuesday, Ali told State House correspondents that he would not be at the senate, citing advice from the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) as reason for his decision.
He said that he had written to the senate on the development, explaining that a case had been instituted at the court on the matter.
Ali said the AGF wrote to him, asking him and all parties to stay action on his summon to appear at the Senate in uniform, pending the determination of an originating summons filed by one Mohammed Ibrahim.