The Nigerian Senate has declared Nigeria Customs Service boss Col. Hameed Ali (rtd.) unfit to hold a public office and ultimately demanded his resignation as Customs boss.
The senate resolved that Ali should resign his post after he again failed to appear before the lawmakers as directed by the upper house of legislature on Thursday, March 16.
Senators argued today, Wednesday, March 22, that Ali’s refusal to show up because of the letter the clerk of the Senate received from the office of the attorney-general of federation Abubakar Malami directing the lawmakers to leave him alone because the matter was in court amounted to interference in its duties.
Leading the debate, Senator Dino Melaye of Kogi West said the letter was an affront to the legislature.
He said: “What we heard from the attorney general is an insult.
“How can the attorney-general that we screened in the House tell us how to carry out our duties? This is the first time in the history of black Africa that the attorney-general is telling the Senate what to do.
“This is not an injunction but a mere court process by a third party that ran to court and the attorney-general wants us to stop our work.
“Our rule says that a matter which is already in court cannot be discussed here but not that a matter that is on our floor and an individual quickly ran to court … haba!”
Melaye also noted that based on the provisions of the Customs Act and the Pension Reforms Act 2004, Ali was too old to hold a public office because he was above 60 years and had worked in public service for over 35 years.
He said: “Hameed Ali is above 60. He is not qualified to hold the position of the Customs comptroller general.”
Melaye therefore moved that Ali be declared unfit and told to resign.
Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe concurred.
He argued that “Lest we forget”, the Customs made an obnoxious policy and it was in this process that the Senate invited Ali to explain his policy and not because of any vendetta.
Another Senator Isah Misau representing Bauchi Central argued further that enemies of Nigeria’s progress were working against the President Buhari-led government by giving him bad advices.
He said:”The enemies of Nigeria are in the presidency. They are trying to distract the president from doing his job. They are giving him the wrong advices and throwing obstacles in his way in order to disrupt his administration.
“For instance when the President went on vacation for about 49 days, there were no Boko Haram attacks but immediately he returned, they have started the attacks again to distract the president.”
After all the arguments and resolutions, the Senate also decided to send the attorney-general a warning letter to desist from interfering in legislative matters.
Another motion was moved to send the Senate’s resolution to the House of Representatives for concurrence. (Authority)