Dogara: Customs boss Ali uniform feud is a distraction

Hameed-Ali
Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Tuesday described the face-off between the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, and the Senate as a “mere distraction.”

Dogara, who stated this when he hosted newspaper editors in his office in Abuja, said the uniform is not supposed to be the main issue.

“The main issue is delivery,” he said, suggesting that Ali’s performance in office should be the focus.

The senate last week called for the resignation of Ali, saying he was unfit to hold any public office.

The senate’s decision followed Ali’s refusal to appear before the lawmakers in customs uniform. A week before then, the lawmakers had turned Ali back after he appeared before them, but without the Customs uniform.

Ali’s problem with the senate started with a controversial customs policy on retroactive payment of duties on imported cars. Following the senate’s condemnation of the policy, the customs reversed it. But the lawmakers insisted Ali, a retired army colonel, appear before them.

READ ALSO  Police bans vehicular movement on Saturday

House of rep

The customs chief refused saying the matter was in court – filed by a private citizen – and there was a directive by the attorney general that both parties maintain the current status.

In its resolution last week, the Senate said it would ask the House of Representatives to concur with its decision.

On Tuesday, Dogara said the decision of the House of Representatives on the matter can only be decided at the plenary.

Dogara

“I can’t speak for the House; the House will have to speak for itself through a resolution of the House.

“I cannot pre-judge what the outcome of the debate will be,” he said.

READ ALSO  NPA hands over Old Warri Port terminal to concessionaire 

Dogara, however, said the Senate and House work closely as is necessary in a bicameral legislature.

He said Nigerians and the media should focus more on what the law states on the uniform controversy rather than on the stance of the Senate or Ali. 

Copyright 2018 Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.