THE Senate has stated why it ordered Comptroller General of Customs, rtd Col Hameed Ali, to appear in the agency’s uniform.
The Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Communications, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC Lagos West) yesterday also explained that the Upper Legislative Chamber was also unhappy with Ali- alleged refusal to respect the authority of the finance minister, who had the supervisory responsibility over the Customs Service.
Adeola said: -The All Progressives Congress APC-led government of President Muhammadu Buhari was elected on adherence to the rule of law and renunciation of impunity in any form. The story we hear daily is the arrogance and high-handedness of the CG and name-dropping of the president.”
The lawmaker further said that the Senate- resolution for Ali to appear in the Nigeria Custom Service uniform and rank to explain his refusal to suspend the policy on duty on vehicles and other recent acts of the Customs was “to protect the organisational integrity and discipline.”
Adeola, who is also member of the Finance, Marine, Interior and Science and Technology committees of the Senate, said it is regrettable that as a retired army colonel, who should know the importance of uniforms, the Custom boss wants to demean and undermine the symbolic importance of uniforms, discipline as well as the authority it confers on the agency in its operation as a lawful body.
-We once had a Major General Haladu Hananiya as head of Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC) wearing the agency- uniform as well as a Major Danjuma Maigari wearing the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) agency uniform in Lagos State all in a bid to promote the agencies they lead,” he said.
Adeola maintained that military and paramilitary uniforms, inclusive of ranks are part of the symbol of legitimate authority conferred on the wearer to carry out certain duties on behalf of the government.