Failure to Appear Before Senate: Hameed Ali Risks Arrest
By Augustine Osayande
The Senate on Wednesday resolved to compel the Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs Hameed Ali to appear before it to explain issue of proposed retrospective duty payment on vehicles in Nigeria.
The decision was taken after the Senate President Bukola Saraki read out another letter from the Comptroller General explaining the reason he can not appear before the Senate.
In his reaction Senator Kabiru Marafa expressed his displeasure over the position of the CG “I am against anybody trying to rubish any institution of government. Government is not about making money, it is about the welfare of the people. Our people are suffering and we can not watch anybody to jeopardize this government,” Marafa said.
Senator Thompson Sekibo said the issue is now a constitutional matter. He added that it is beyond the Comptroller General of the Customs and the Senate.
He said if the CG failed to appear before the Senate, a warrant of arrest should be issued on him by the Senate in line with section 89 of the 1999 constitution as amended.
In line with his reaction, Sekibo moved a motion that the Senate do compel the CG of Customs to appear before the Senate on Thursday and if he failed, the Senate should issue a warrant of arrest on him in line section 89 of the constitution.
Efforts by Senator Olusola Adeyeye to plead with his colleagues to amend Sekibo’s motion was rejected by the Senators.
The motion was later seconded by the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu. He said it is not about the Comptroller General or about the Senate but about the legality of the law. “What we are doing is to ensure we protect ordinary Nigerians against unlawful act,” Ekweremadu said.
In his ruling the Senate President Bukola Saraki said they are in the Senate to protect the law and nobody is above the law.