For reportedly daring the Nigerian Senate, members of the National Assembly’s upper chamber, on Thursday ordered Controller-General of Customs, Col. Ali (Rtd) to appear before them next Wednesday, March 15, 2017.
Perhaps irked by his official disdain for the service’s uniform, considered an act of impunity, the Senate also ordered that he must appear in “his appropriate uniform.”
Members reacted to a motion by Senator Dino Melaye in the front page of The Sun newspaper of which noted that the Custom is daring the Nigerian Senate and “operating under its own laws.”
He therefore urged the red chamber to summon the Customs boss to appear “in his uniform,” a demand that was reiterated by Senators Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, Kabir Mafara and Aliyu Wamakko.
Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan urged the customs to put more efforts in securing the nation’s borders, even as he warned against reacting based on newspaper reports.
“The Senate has always supported the Nigerian Customs, I call for a proper dialogue,” he added, even as he agreed that government officials summoned before the lawmakers must do so within the stipulated time.
But reacting, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha argued that “government officials must respect the rule of law, if they undermine the Senate, they are indirectly undermining the President.”
For Senator Atai Aidoko, “it is painful (that) if you buy a car, you are not a car dealer and they (Customs) say your documents are fake and your car is impounded.”
While supporting the motion to summon the Customs boss, Senator Obinna Ogba lamented that “a lot of cars bought during the Christmas period were confiscated along the Benin-Ore road and have not been returned till date.”
Using the opportunity to complain about the activities of officials of the Nigerian Customs, Senate Lanre Tejuoso lamented that a “Customs official killed two men from my constituency (in Ogun State). We must look into the activities of the Customs.”
Beyond looking into the activities of customs officials across the country, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekwerenmadu, who chaired the session in the absence of Dr. Bukola Saraki, who has led a five-man delegation to German on a three-day visit, spoke of the need for the Senate to “also fight impunity alongside corruption.”