The Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali, has written the Senate, to inform the legislators that he will not appear before them on Wednesday as expected.
This is just as he added that the date stipulated for his appearance coincides “with the fortnightly meeting of the NCS management”.
The upper chamber of the senate had summoned Ali with respect to the plan of his agency to collect duty on vehicles that had already been imported into the country.
The lawmakers had ordered him to appear before it on March 15th in his official uniform as a customs officer, prompting Ali to say he was not appointed to wear uniform.
The customs boss further hit back at the Senate, asking the lawmakers to show interest in his work not his dress.
However, at plenary on Tuesday, Ali pleaded for another date, in a letter signed by Azawoma A, an assistant comptroller-general.
It reads: “I’m directed to acknowledge the receipt of your letter no NASS/CS/8S/09/29 of 9th March 2017 on the above subject matter. I have been further directed to tell you that the date given to the comptroller-general of the Nigerian Customs Service Wednesday 15th March 2017 to brief the senate in plenary on the retrospective duty payment of vehicles in Nigeria has coincided with the fortnightly meeting of the NCS management.”
“The comptroller-general is humbly requesting the new date from the distinguished senate, as we wait your favourable response please be assured of the highest regards and also of the comptroller-general of customs.”
Apparently peeved by the failure of Ali to show some respect to the lawmakers by not signing the letter himself, Ahmed Lawan, senate leader, after reading the letter, said:
“I’m eager to make to observations here from the letter read by the clerk. First, the excuse for not appearing tomorrow is because it coincides with routine fortnightly meeting of management of the NCS. That does not take precedence on the invitation of the senate.”
“Secondly, the letter was signed by someone else, not the CG of customs. My opinion is that a letter coming to the senate from the customs especially an invitation was written for the customs CG to appear here who should have taken personal interest and signed it. That will have given, in my judgement, some sense of respect for the institution not for us.”