Senate drives away Hameed Ali, asks him to come back in Customs uniform

Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs, Hameed Ali arriving the Nigerian Senate
Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs, Hameed Ali arriving the Nigerian Senate

The Senate has driven away the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali, after he appeared before the lawmakers in mufti.

Mr. Ali’s appearance without uniform, on Thursday after his failure to appear on Wednesday, was contrary to the resolution of the Senate which asked that he must wear “appropriate” uniform to brief them over the now suspended policy on duty payment.

The Senate unanimously resolved to drive away Mr. Ali, following George Sekibo’s motion.

The Senate further resolved that he should appear again next Wednesday in uniform, after the lawmakers took turns to chide the Customs boss.

“Coming was just one part of our invitation, another part is that you wear uniform. Why are you not in uniform?” Ike Ekweremadu, who presided, asked Mr. Ali, after he observed protocols.

Mr. Ali then craved the indulgence of Mr. Ekweremadu to refer to the letter forwarded to him on Wednesday.

After reading the content of the letter, he said, “this letter did not connote that I should wear uniform.”

Responding, Mr. Ekweremadu said Wednesday’s letter was “further to the earlier letters which indicated that you should wear uniform. So this is a reminder.

“More importantly, this is official. We have expected military chiefs and the Inspector General of Police and they all wear uniform.”

“My not wearing uniform does not breach any law. No law, to my knowledge, that compels me to wear uniform. There is no law that says in doing my service, I have to wear uniform.”

Deputy Leader, Bala Na’Allah, drawing from the customs and excise law, argued there is law that compels Mr. Ali to wear uniform.

He said the customs chief was oblivious of the law, saying “I am happy you said you needed legal opinion.”

“I regret his grandstanding,” Aliyu Wakil (APC-Bauchi), former customs officer said.

Olamilekan Solomon (APC-Lagos), Barnabas Gemade (APC-Benue) and Barau Jibrin (APC-Kano) also chided Mr. Ali and insisted he must wear uniform.

After the resolution, Mr. Ekweremadu explained that Section 2 of the customs law provides that all officers, including comptroller-general, must wear uniform.

“As number one officer, you should lead by example,” Mr. Ekweremadu said.


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  • T-Rex

    If the rank and file personnel of the Nigeria Customs Service decide to stop wearing uniform,hope this man will not punish them?

  • adekenny

    I commend this man’s courage daring these criminals in the house! Let them do their worst! Hamid Ali sir don’t wear the uniform! Not compulsory!

    • Gunnermachine

      That is not courage. He is being intransigent

    • Aare

      Confirmed!
      CG KWANTINU TO WEAR ZA MUFTI !!

    • Nnamdi Ugwuadu

      Bros, you are not a patriotic citizen. What on earth makes you call Senators of the republic criminals? One day you will aspire to lead and people will call you criminal unjustly. The way and manner you guys are supporting injustice in this Country is quite alarming. Ali does not have any courage like you said. He only ended up exposing his level of ignorance by saying that no law compels him to wear uniform while serving in Nigeria customs, but the deputy senate president refereed him to section 2 of Nigeria customs law that says he must wear uniform. Your man Ali knows that he cannot joke with the senate else he will loose his job immediately. He is not above the law. Wearing long robe or caftan makes him a pharisee and not a civil servant.

      • adekenny

        Whether we like it or not; with these criminals in the senate; Nigeria will never move forward! Do you know these criminals collect 47 million naira every month for constituency allowance ? Apart from their bogus salary? Tell me since 1999 what policy have they made that have any positive impact on common masses of Nigeria? They are just a waste! Unless Nigeria do away with them;it can never move forward mark my words!

        • sab

          Constituency project or funds paid to senators comes from FG. The same state assemblymen also collect from state governments. All put together means it is a general thing and can only be stopped by the FG through proper budgeting and scrutiny. Why so particular about senators? Sure there is a senator representing you. Sure also there is a House of Rep member representing you and also a house of assembly man from your zone as well as Councilor. Have you ever asked them how that constituency project come about and what they do with the money?

  • Daniel

    Buhari and his lawless aides and appointees.

    From DSS, EFCC to Customs, etc

    A country where laws are disobeyed without consequences is nothing less or more than a jungle.

    • Fairgame

      Exactly. And on this forum there are APC zombies defending this man’s behavior! It is just sad to see how wasted some people’s brains are.

      • VERITAS_ the rock of ages_

        They are being paid to support any and every action of their APC media pay masters. They rented a house in abuja where they work from. posting online in favour of their pay masters. They sacrifice the future of Nigerians for chicken change. Shame…

        • musa aliyu

          U think everyone is like U, working his paymasters that are blocked from feeding from the fat of the land?

          • VERITAS_ the rock of ages_

            You think i am like you guys? depending on Nigeria. I have made no penny from this country. I live on royalties from patents of my products around the world. Nigeria has given me nothing but pain and agony. I have lost 4 vital inventions today because of Nigerians and the greed and vanity. always seeing a small picture and never thinking big. corrupt people and nation. Please go and join heads with your Failed tribal bigot Biafra war generation of old men and their blind youth supporters. I am not with them or you.

      • Daniel

        Those APC elements are just a pathetic horde.

        They are irredeemably damned to bigotry and heroe-worship.

    • musa aliyu

      Yes. No one expect U to be sane since ur sponsors’ source of livelihood is blocked by those U just mentioned. Continue ranting.

      • Daniel

        Build institutions and forget the individuals.

        Soldier go, soldier come. Barracks dey Kampe.

        Nigeria is not about one man.

  • Nnamdi Ugwuadu

    Ali must wear uniform period

  • Aare

    CG Sir, Nigerians and the president are solidly behind you and the good work you are doing to sanitize the NCS. Like you said, you not wearing the NCS uniform does not beach any law.
    Don’t dance to the tune of these childish senators- you have served the country better than any of them in the past and have earned the right to be treated with respect. You did not lobby for this job but were prevailed upon by Mr President to serve our country once again.

    CG SIR, KWANTINU TO WEAR ZA MUFTI !!!

    • Nnamdi Ugwuadu

      You are only encouraging him to go back to ze oza room

      • Aare

        It is better he go back to za oza room than for him to bow to za whims of ZA AGENTS OF KWARAPSHUN.

        ALI PLEASE KWANTINU TO WEAR ZA MUFTI !!

    • sab

      But you read about the section of the Custom’s laws that stipulates he wears customs uniform, didn’t you? Some former CGs have been interviewed by PT here and they made it clear that is the rule. Why do some people support evil and think they are better Buharis than others?

    • musa aliyu

      Gbam!!!!

    • Don Stevo

      The gods are wise

  • olat

    PMB Shd wake up, d fight is against his Govt. they delay everything for his arrival.
    Move Ali to DSS. Send d DSS man home.
    Suspend the CBN Govn n move Adeosun to CBN
    Ben Akabueze as finance Minister
    remove the AGF n give to Tunde Bakare.
    Do something about d cabinet most of them are performing below average.

    • adekenny

      Thank you my brother you have said it all!

    • Okokondem

      “Suspend the CBN Govn n move Adeosun to CBN”

      You are patently and shamelessly tribal. People like you are the reason this country is regressive. What you are saying is it doesn’t matter if the person occupying a position is qualified as long as it fits your narrow minded, parochial disposition. Shame on you!

  • Fairgame

    Lawlessness or lawfulness always starts with leadership. It may seem petty to some people that the senators are asking the head of customs to wear the uniform but it is not. Does the customs law and enforced by the head of customs Ali require those under him to wear their customs uniforms? If the answer is yes then Ali has to obey same law. Nigeria is a country of big men with super sized egos who all think they are above the law. Hameed Ali is one of those. It is this same man that refuses to answer to the minister of finance even though customs is one of the revenue generating parastatals under the supervision of the minister. He arrogantly told her that he reports only to the president. People like Hammeed Alli are the problems this country has where laws are for the followers never for the leaders. Buhari by the way is same. He says no public official should seek treatment abroad but of course that excludes him. And some zombies will keep supporting this nonsense and think Nigeria will move ahead with such reckless and utter disregard for rules by its leaders.

    • Focus

      Is there a law that says PMB should not seek Medicare abroad? Since when has his sayings become law? As for Hameed Ali, he is an arrogant officer. Particularly since the customs law requires him to put on uniform.

      • musa aliyu

        Why can’t U say he is arrogant, since he stopped ur source from getting ill-gotten wealth? Mtchewww!!!!!

      • Fairgame

        You miss the point. Buhari banned public officers from seeking medical treatment abroad but did not include himself. If you don’t see the hypocrisy in that then there nothing to say to you. The same thread of do as I say but not as I do runs through this government and Nigerian leaders as a whole.

  • Billy Salman

    Hameed Ali or whatever your name is, the LAW says wear uniform so you must wear it failure to do so will tantamount to disregard of the law. As for the Senate we know they’re corrupt

    • OJERINDE, Olatunde A.

      Can you please quote the law.
      Have you noticed that no one has done that. The Senate merely assume that he should necessarily wear uniform but the man knows there is no law to compel that…..and wearing uniform will only be stroking the ego of the senators. And he does not want to. The man served this country, retired honourably at the peak of service before being redrawn into service…….so he won’t allow spoilt brat and idiots like Melaye and Saraki who are nobody except by the virtue of our insane politics. I will never allowed that too. And since he did not have to begged them for appointment, he does not have to bend to their whims.

  • onos

    Nigeria? Hmmmmmm men dey ooooo!

  • POPPINS

    Yea,

    • OJERINDE, Olatunde A.

      Will the senators not get their allowance if he appears in whatever?
      If it is the right of those junior officers to do so, let them. Simple.

    • musa aliyu

      Not all custom officers wear uniform. Those in excise do not need uniform. What of Adeosun, the minister of finance who is the chairman of customs board? Do U expect her to wear uniform? These are all trivialities that legislooters are delving on to extract their own pounds of flesh. This guy blocked their chances if getting seized goods auctioned to them @ lowest ridiculous prices. He also refused allowing them get frivolous contracts in his unit. That’s why the empty vessels are howling.

  • OBANI CHUKWUEMEKA ABUMERE

    When I think nothing can surprise me again in the Nigerian scene, I get a shocker. That all the problems facing the country has been reduced to wearing of uniform or not shows that we are really in trouble. Even the followers are so psychologically misguilded they deign to argue who is right or wrong. If you can get all the benefits by virtue of your position, the least you can do is wear the uniform of that position. If you cannot then honorably resign. We have so much problems to solve and it is really a slap to the citizenry that you guys reduce our collective plight to the ego of one unimportant human being. I’m tired of the Nigerian psyche of “do you know who I am?”

    • Yakubu

      There are other problems, no doubt. But this is where some of the problems start – a situation where you see a public officer behaving as if he is in his own world; ignoring and flouting rules and order at will just because he was or is still a military officer. Is the military above the law of the land? What we craved for is strong institutions and not strong individuals – people who are bent to run the country aground.

      • OBANI CHUKWUEMEKA ABUMERE

        You are right. We must all join hands to create the difference we hope for.

  • Okokondem

    There’s no doubt, in fact it is common knowledge that our legislature is a source of shame to the country. They are basically thieves, robbing the country in broad day light with their outrageous salaries and obscene allowances.

    That said, I believe they are justified in demanding that the custom’s chief appear in official uniform before the congress. While we may be unified in our condemnation of the men and women occupying the seats at the national assembly, we must however be careful not to disrespect the institution itself, and that is the essence of requiring uniformed officers to appear in uniform.

    Conversely, I have always wondered why our people feel it is necessary to go to work wearing ceremonial robes. I’m not against wearing traditional attire to the work place, but the outfit can be moderated to look reasonable, such as trousers & ‘jumper’ to match vs agbada for instance. These outfits worn by our leaders to work may look normal if you are within the country but trust me they look ridiculous when you are outside the country looking in. The ridiculousness is compounded when the men and women of our national assembly who parade in these flamboyant outfits during whoring hours also end up being unproductive. You can’t help wondering would they be a little more productive were they to pay a little less attention to themselves and their ridiculous outfits.

    • OJERINDE, Olatunde A.

      You should liberate your enslaved brain. Do you know how people dress in Dubai? (I mean the Arabs there not the exported slaves like your ilk). I guess that has affected their productivity as well….that is why they are millions years behind Nigeria. IF YOU LIKE WEAR TROUSER AND SHIRT……but please that cannot be an issue at all except for brainless certificate holders like you. Pardon my vexation abeg.

      • yinkuze

        Why resulting to insults dear brother. It say much about your upbringing and training. Must u abuse to pass your message across? Haba !

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    If the new custom and exercise, boss feels too big to wear the custom and exercise, uniform as the head of custom and exercise, let him be removed and other qualify custom and exercise,personnel must be selected to replace him.

    OBANI CHUKUEMEKA ABUMERE & ilk:: Reason well, custom & exercise boss must live up to expectation as custom & exercise, like other police or air-force or Navy, must be treated real as its boss,Comptroller-General,must always wear uniforms not just any national attire or kaftan or agbada.Wake up!

  • musa aliyu

    Idiots. It’s only trivialities they harp upon.

    • adeade

      Maybe the soldiers should be wearing native attire to fight Book Haram… What do you think??

      • musa aliyu

        Another one!

  • adeade

    While I do not enjoy everything that Senate does, I support them on this… We need to ensure that all these people at the Executive branch of government regard the other branches…Ai have never seen Nigerian ministers take Senate serious.. if Ali refuses to wear the uniform, he has to be embarrassed with an arrest.. it’s like IGP wearing agbada and insisting it’s not the uniform that will make him be a good police officer.. Ali is one of the so-called cabals that need to be dealt with..Ali and Daura of DSS.. Weldone Senate, even APC members are ashamed of his grandstanding…He better eats a humblepie

  • Orphic

    And that is the Nigerian senate. People are starving on the streets, dying for lack of medical care, the economy is imploding… and the they are concerned with treating a senior Nigerian government official like a child.

    • Okokondem

      Unless we are prepared to throw away the baby with the bath water, it is imperative that we separate the present occupants of the seats in the national assembly from the institution itself. The requirement for a uniformed officer of the government to appear before the legislature in uniform is in reverence and respect for the institution and not just the members, whomever they are.

      We may despise the current occupants of the institution for being no good, but we must not set precedents that may be difficult to reverse in future, at a time when we might finally have respectable men and women occupying those seats. I hope this explanation helps.

      • Orphic

        As I said, “Mr Ali is an ex army officer and not a member of the customs service and has no rank within that service, his is a political appointment.”
        Unless you’re asking Mr Ali to put on his army uniform which in itself would be a breach of army regulations as retired soldiers are not allowed to don uniforms.
        You cannot ask Mr Ali to wear the uniform of a service that he is not a member of. Imagine Mr Ali was appointed head of police by Buhari. Would you ask an ex-Colonel in the army to now wear police uniform and at what rank?
        I hope you now understand my point!

        • Chukwuemeka Ogbu

          You still miss the point. Once you are the head of a military agency, you should dress like the office you are holding when duty calls. An example is the president of a country. He may have no military experience but he is the commander in chief and he can wear the army uniform. We saw GEJ dress in military attire sometimes. Yet he was never in the military but by virtue of the constitution he is the commander in chief. The Comptroller General position may be a political appointment but once the position has been occupied, the head of the group have to dress like them on the FIELD. It’s not a matter of rank, it’s a matter of the CONSTITUTION.

          • Orphic

            Oga don’t make me laugh. GEJ was wearing army uniform? What rank? Did you look at the insignia? The Nigerian army does not have stars and does not have gold crossed swords in laurel leaves.
            The constitution does not mandate the wearing of uniforms for uniformed organisations otherwise it would exclude civilian appointments. You cannot don a uniform for a service you have not joined or been inculcated into and you cannot self promote yourself to a general like GEJ. It is a fraud to wear a uniform without being awarded the rank.
            You know this is politics, the Custom service are tired of Mr Ali and want his removal. The senator that sponsored the ruling was also a former custom officer.

          • Georgey

            GEJ was the Commander in Chief he has a uniform. He is not the only president around the world to have done it.

            You argument is weak. As a president he was the leader / commander of an army he has absolutely no training for and it is uniform that he will not have.

          • Chukwuemeka Ogbu

            Arguing with you makes no sense because you have chosen not to see the point being made. Google “GEJ in Army uniform” or Google ” Barack Obama in Army uniform”. The constitution is the constitution and it is the highest law in the land. Head of paramilitary organization are mandated by law to wear the uniforms of the organizations they head. Even if an Army officer was made the IG of police, it is mandated by law that he wears the uniform. Of course, he can choose not to wear them. But trying to say that “the law does not mandate him to wear the uniform” is faulty and that is the point I want you to know.

          • Orphic

            ” Barack Obama in Army uniform”, my friend you have been suckered by photoshop! Obama or any US president cannot legally wear army uniform. Some of the images on google even have him wearing Russian army uniform.
            Mr Ali, has said he is seeking legal advice, but what I can tell you is there is no constitutional provision that mandates wearing of uniform. On Sunrise TV today a lawyer makes the argument that Ali should wear uniform but even he agrees that the constitution and law does not have any such mandatory provisions.

          • Savior Emmanuel

            GEJ when performing a military duty as commander in chief wears the rank of a five star general if its an army function. He wears the rank of admiral of the fleet, five star for navy for navy function and Air fleet marshal five star for airforce. Please verify it very well. Stop this ignorance. Major General Hananiah when he headed FRSC wears the uniform rank of chief corps marshal. Stop displaying your ignorance.

          • Orphic

            And Wole Soyinka when head of FRSC wore uniform. As to GEJ he was a fraud, military rank is not conferred on political office holders, to wear a rank that has not been conferred on you is a fraud.

        • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

          Mr. Buhari is the one causing confusion here. What stops him from appointing a Customs officer as CGC? And as far as wearing uniforms goes, Rtd. General Hannaniya used to wear FRSC uniform when he was corps Marshall. And guess what? He wore the rank of Corps Marshall. Not that I supported his appointment at the time, though. My beef with such appointments is that they impede the career progression of regular officials of such establishments who are entitled to legitimately aspire to the pinnacle of their chosen professions.

          • Orphic

            For me the principle is it Introduces military or uniformed rule by the back door. If you are saying that the commander-in-chief of the armed forces has an unearned military rank then that position no longer becomes civilian and is now military. You are in effect implying that civilian oversight of the military or uniformed service is only applicable if the civilian dons the military garment and assumes a rank of the agency that he oversees. That negates the entire concept of both democracy and civilian oversight (or rule).

    • yinkuze

      Mr Ali is an ex Army Officer ….. And so? My friend weather army officer or whatever, Customs officers are uniformed men. He must wear one. If he cannot, he can as well resign. We are not in military regime. What precedence is he trying to set. On this I supported the Senate. He should go and dress properly to represent Customs which he is heading.

    • Otile

      What does Mohamed Buhari know?

  • Okokondem

    It’s true we are not monolithic and therefore are entitled to espouse diverse opinion. However, there are certain obvious subjects where common sense demands a more unified concensus such as this one. What can be the justification for a customs chief to appear before the legislature in his capacity and not wear his uniform?

  • Julius

    They shouldn’t let this occupy their time but, the rule is the rule and if he doesn’t want to follow the rule, the honorable thing for him to do is resign.

  • Yakubu

    That is what you get when you have ignoramus in position of authority. It is most unfortunate to see how pride and arrogance have pushed him to have a macabre dance in the market square. You claimed there is no law that compels you to wear uniform and now, you have heard the Deputy Senate President loud and clear when he quoted that Section 2 of the customs law provides that all officers, including comptroller-general, must wear uniform.
    If not for his pride, arrogance, his nakedness and gross incapability would not have been this exposed. How can you be a public officer and you do not want to be held accountable and responsible?
    Is he doing a free service? Is he not being maintained (with his family) and taken care of with our collective tax payer’s money? Who are you to call the finger that is feeding you to question? This is arrant nonsense.

    • OJERINDE, Olatunde A.

      Is he really mad? Or could the Senate be the real asylum of lunatics? Or everyone is actually a schizo…?
      So uniform has become the issue of contention. For me, I like a man that can stand firm; and this is what you have confidence to do when you have not begged or bribed any truant for appointment. The worst is, if the senate have the power to sack him…..let them go ahead. It will not hurt him a bit, i bet you. A house of rogues that will not even tell us how much of Nigerian money is spent on their rotten head yearly is now crazy that a man must obey their command like it’s a scriptural revelation to all. Ekwerenmadu did not quote anything to back senate’s stance….so the man too should maintain his stance. So let’s see how it goes. Maybe they need to issue arrest warrant for him for not wearing uniform.
      These are mere rogues trying to flex their piggish muscle to the amusement of hungry masses who will not swarm on them like bees.

      • yinkuze

        My friend, u should be ashamed of yourself. His Ali above law? What an arrant nonsense. If he can’t obey simple instruction he should quit. Common, what is wrong with him wearing uniform, tell me. Is he the only one that can man that seat. The guy is just arrogant. Let see what happens next. He is just giving baba unnecessary wahala with NASS.

        • Du Covenant

          With all due respect, When uniform should the Minister of defense wear?. The reason I am asking is, the man is a retired military person, not a career custom office meaning he is private citizen. Are we not demonstrating our primitiveness when we believe that anyone in position of authority must wear uniform?. In my opinion, the sum bags in the senate should be the last animals to ask others to obey them.

      • Mohammed J Usman

        Ojerinde I like your comment,and I saw it somewhere that they have issued arrest warrant to him let’s see who will kick who but I didn’t see what’s is the argument is all about. Are the chambers loyal to Nigerians? ate Nigerians be there servants nor they serving Nigerians .

  • George

    Its only Hausa person that can act in this way.

    Ali disobeyed Senate.

    Daura SSS disobeyed yeye Buhari.

    Equal to general nonentity.

    • arewa justice

      its only sons of bitches like u that make bigoted comments like this

  • Senator D

    All Politicians SHOULD be put on minimum wage same the civil servants in the ministry of education in Osun state and you will see how fast things will change…All these Politicians be they elected or appointed are spiteful of the Nigerian rules and ethics…