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You Are Unfit To Hold Public Office, Resign, Senate Orders Hameed Ali



The Senate, has declared the embattled Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (retd), unfit to hold any public office and as a result, he has also been urged to‎ resign from office.

The decision of the Senate to all for Ali’s resignation is hinged on the fact that he again refused to appear before the lawmakers as directed by the upper house of the Nigerian legislature on Thursday, March 16.

The clerk of the Senate read a letter from the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) today, March 22, advising the Senate to step down the matter of the invitation of the Customs CG, as the matter is in court and deliberating on it would be subjudice. But the senators argued that Ali’s refusal to show up because of the letter amounted to interference in its duties.

Leading the debate, Senator Dino Melaye of Kogi West described the letter was an affront to the legislature.

His words:

“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!”

Speaking further, Melaye pointed out that according to 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.

“Hameed Ali is above 60. He is not qualified to hold the position of the Customs comptroller general”, he said.

Based on the above argument, Melaye moved that Hameed Ali be declared unfit and told to resign.

Another Senator, Eyinnaya Abaribe, threw his weight behind Melaye. He reminded his fellow senators of the beginning of the issue between the house and the customs boss saying;

“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.”

Presenting his arguments on the floor of the senate, the senator representing Bauchi Central, Isah Misau, argued that enemies of Nigeria’s progress were working against President Muhammadu Buhari’s government by giving him bad advice.

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 advice 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 the 1 hour 35 minutes closed-door session, where lawmakers brainstormed on the Hameed Ali issue, the Senate resolved that he is unfit to hold any public office and as a result, he should‎ resign from office.

The Senate also decided to send the Attorney-General a warning letter to desist from interfering in legislative matters while another motion was moved to send the Senate’s resolution to the House of Representatives for concurrence.

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