The Comptroller General of Customs (NCS), Hameed Ali, on Friday said he will not appear before the Senate on March 15 unless they followed due process to summon him, noting also that it was not obligatory that he wears uniform.
Speaking to the media, he said that he was yet to receive any letter of invitation from the National Assembly.
His words, “There is a procedure for inviting members of the executive to appear to the Senate. If that procedure is followed, we will abide by that procedure.
“No member of the executive is invited on media network , either on the television or the radio. If they follow that procedure, we will appear before them.
“Up to this moment, I have not seen any correspondence from the Senate in my office.”
He, however, said he would honour an invitation from the National Assembly whenever due process was followed in his invitation.
Recall that the Senate had on Thursday summoned Ali over ‘his dictatorial leadership style’ in running the customs and flagrant disregard to the Senate’s rules and orders.
Asked if he will appear in uniforms, if formally invited through an official letter; he said: “With regard to uniform, certainly no. Why is it so?
“I was not appointed to wear uniform. I am sorry to say, I don’t know why Senate is talking about uniform.”
He defended his appointment as Comptroller General from outside the Customs saying: “In that same law, it says that there shall be deputy comptroller-generals appointed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from among the Nigeria Customs Service.
“So that gives you a very clear cut answer that today or any day, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can decide to appoint a Comptroller-General outside the Nigeria Customs Service, but it cannot appoint Deputy Comptroller Generals outside the Nigeria Customs Service.”
He added that the law empowers President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint the Comptroller-General from outside the organization.
He disclosed that some motorists use only one number plate to drive up to 20 vehicles.
Revealing genesis of the vehicle duty policy, he said that upon the ban on importation of vehicles through land boarders, the Association of Motor Dealers of Nigeria (AMDON) confessed that they had cars that were smuggled into Nigeria.
The dealers, according to him, sought for assistance which led to the issue of creating a vehicle seats for their regularization.
Ali said: “We said that all the vehicles that were smuggled, you will bring them to a vehicle seat and regularize them. We said we would help, but you must pay the duty.”
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