Hameed Ali, the comptroller-general of the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, has written a letter to the National Assembly that he would not be able to appear before the Senate on March 22, 2017 as scheduled.
Ali who was to appear before the Senate in an official uniform of the customs service said he is acting on a legal advice he received from Abubakar Malami, the federal attorney general and minister of justice, asking all parties involved with the Senate’s invitation to stay action pending the determination of an originating summons filed by one Mohammed Ibrahim.
A source at the headquarters of the Customs Service said an official letter had been despatched to the National Assembly over the legal advice.
A legal practitioner has asked the Federal High Court Abuja to restrain the National Assembly from compelling the Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd.) to wear uniform in the performance of his duties.
The suit, filed filed this week, named Ali, the NCS, the National Assembly, the Senate and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) as first to fifth defendants.
The plaintiff, Mohammed Ibrahim is seeking for a court declaration that Ali’s appointment as Customs boss cannot be subject to the provisions of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) or any other law.
A declaration that Ali who is not a commissioned officer of the NCS is not mandated by law to wear uniform and that the oversight functions of the National Assembly does not extend to compelling and mandating him to appear before it in uniform.
The plaintiff is also asking for an order of perpetual injunction restraining both the NASS and the Senate from compelling Ali to wear uniform in the performance of his duties.
The Cable reports that after observing his prayers at the presidential villa mosque on Tuesday afternoon, he told journalists, “The case is in court already. Somebody has sued us. It is subjudice. I have gotten my writ of summons and they said status quo should remain ante which means nothing moves until the court makes a pronouncement.”
“A private individual sued all of us, he wants an interpretation of the section that is in contention. I don’t want to talk so that I am not held in contempt of court,” the customs boss said.
He then rushed out of the villa on foot using the security gate used by service chiefs.