Dogara speaks on Hameed Ali, Senate uniform controversy

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.”

Mr. 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 Mr. Ali’s performance in office should be the focus.

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

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

Mr. 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 Mr. Ali, a retired army colonel, appear before them.

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

“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.

Mr. 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 Mr. Ali.



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  • Mr. Alabi

    Editor Sir,

    It’s such a pity that the government of Nigeria has been reduced to a joke and a mess,
    as public affairs are only focused on STEALING and in Parliament, focused on uniform
    of the appointed head of Customs. No room for constructive discussion on economic
    and political reforms. Such a political system cannot progress Nigeria from where it is
    to where it is supposed to be because the thinking required for such movement is not
    there. The whole country is tied down in horror of uncovered theft, perjury and forgery.
    Meantime the country is sinking into the depths of the worst economic recession ever.

    • Q & A 2017

      Mr. Alabi:

      Please O! Tell me just one person in this ramshackle government of Muhamadu Buhari that Nigerians can trust
      as honest and knowledgeable enough to say, yes things will get better with such good person in government –
      just one person? There’s none. This nuisance contraption called Buhari government is “a conclave of illiterates”
      Is it Raji Fashola who got over 450 billion Naira allocation since October 2015 and has only zero megawatts
      to show for it that Nigerians should put their faith on?

      Or is there anyone – just one person- that Buhari has appointed to public office that can inspire hope
      in the future of the country? There’s nobody! Just riff-raff and street urchins nominated by the Buhari
      campaign financiers who themselves are mostly corrupt.

      Take Standards Organization of Nigeria (S.O.N) as example. The CEO there appointed by President Buhari
      can hardly think or speak English and was immediately implicated within three months of resuming office
      in complicity over tons of defective tyres worth five billion Naira imported into Nigeria by Chinese traders.
      The Customs Office issued a press statement that it was the Standards Organization which gave approval
      for the expired tyres to come into Nigeria in the first place. That fact has not been denied by the crass
      management of the Standards Organization of Nigeria till today. Is that the sort of dubious head of
      parastatal that can inspire a country? Where is the change in Nigeria, after Buhari’s empty rhetoric?

      • FineBoy

        Does SON clear tyres?

        • LagLon

          ..funny that … maybe casual dress customs does???!!!

          • Q & A 2017


            Premium Times reported this tyre scandal and published all sides to the story. Go and read it.

        • ZebraCrosser


          You be forwarding agent, my brother? They are talking of giving
          authority to import
          – that is the meaning of CLEARING, not the way
          you understand it as a forwarding agent! The S.O.N must give such authority to
          import goods that conform with Nigerian standards. According to Nigerian
          Customs Public Affairs Office, the work of Customs is to make sure that
          contraband does not come in. The Customs does not deal with standards of
          products. It is Standards Organization which gives clearance on standards of

      • Medugu


    • Pointsblank


      • FineBoy

        No wonder u typed in Caps all through to confirmed how debased your mind and knowledge level is

        • Uncle Ben

          @disqus_A4ihmfUrQh:disqus : How come he’s convincing me if he has a debased mind? As i read his post
          I was nodding my head on each word. There was no word in it that i sort of flinched reading.
          I nodded throughout in complete agreement. I salute @pointsblank for his forthrightness.

          • Opekete

            Why not? Hitler convinced some gullible people during his time too.

          • Augustine U.


            Old boy, wait. Are you saying Nigeria has ever had a worse president than Muhamadu Buhari?

            I am not aware of any other president more useless and illiterate in history than this Buhari O!

          • FineBoy

            Iron of same properties magnet together and so do birds of same feather flock together

        • Infoezone Infoezone

          The guy has a right to his opinions and I think he is airing the veiw of most nigerians

          • FineBoy

            True, but not by shouting. That is what typing in capital letters mean. Or was he Melaye classmate in ABU?

      • Deansmart

        You must be sleeping rough and in the states of hallucination

      • Rataya Tambai

        ….Una come help me see educated person ooo! Chei!!! must people talk? If someone opens his mouth to talk, expect one of two things – either the height of his knowledge or the very depth of his ignorance. @Pointsblank is either ignorant or beclouded by so much hatred. My advice to you is that if your disease is ignorance, go and learn; if it’s however hatred, you either wait for 2019 or head for the lagoon! QED

      • Galantman

        Take your drugs pls.

  • Abdul-yakeen Mufutau

    Customs and Immigration Services are constituted by Constitution and as such anyone that feels it is disgusting to wear their Uniforms should also see it as undeserved to bear the name of their leader talkless of heading such institution. Nigeria does not need strong men but strong institution.

    • Okons


      I don’t think the Senate should be disgraced or disobeyed as an institution. It is not good for Nigeria.

      The only thing is that our own Senate of “crooks and rogues” in Nigeria doesn’t deserve any respect.

      • Rataya Tambai

        …..simply when they (senators) are reasonable!

  • Opekete

    It is presumptuous of Dogara to tell Nigerians what we should focus on. You are not elected to tell us how to think. These bunch of gluttons should be made to know their boundaries. A situation that makes an elected lawmaker think he can pocket the brains of people who elected him into office flies in the face of democratic sanity.

  • Dami

    The more I look at the pix of this fellow, the more I examine his behaviour, the more I become convinced that he could be a Boko Haram sponsor. His looks and everything about him is suggestive of this.

    • Rataya Tambai

      You see your life. Ohhh, so you even know Boko Haram sponsors from their looks? One thing suffices here – you know this secret because you witnessed the sponsorship act either as a beneficiary or as a co-sponsor. If you are a beneficiary, then you are certainly BH!

      • Dami

        What I did was simply to compare his looks with that of King of Northern Kaduna – Emir El-Ruffian of Northern Kaduna

  • Usman

    That is why you differ from Saraki

  • Otile

    The question is why must Imam Buhari surround himself with arrogant
    disrespectful individuals who have no respect for other
    Nigerians including the elected officials? But when things get out of hand Imam says: in a little while
    you will see me, in a little while you will not see me again for I must
    go back to the excellent English healthcare where I belong, I don’t like
    the type of healthcare you people got in one Nigeria.