The Controller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali, failed to appear Wednesday before the Nigerian Senate, following a suit instituted at an Abuja High Court over the directive of the senate as regards wearing of customs uniform by the former .
Consequently, he was said to have been advised by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to stay away, since the matter is before a court of competence jurisdiction.
Sources at the Ministry of Justice who confirmed the suit, told our correspondent that Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami had advised the senate and Controller General to suspend further action or comments on the matter pending the determination of the suit.
Also joined in the suit filed by one Barrister Mohammed Ibrahim are The Nigeria Customs Service and the National Assembly of Federal Republic of Nigeria as second and third defendants respectively.
The suit also had the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Attorney General of the Federation as fourth and fifth defendants.
The suit is seeking among others , that the court interpret the contentious areas including the recent controversial subject of wearing uniform
Watchers of the unfolding events are optimistic about a judicial interpretation that will eventually lay the issue to rest.Several other stakeholder groups including the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) had threatened to drag Ali to court if he wears the customs uniform.
”Whether the appointment of Ali by the President having been made pursuant to sections 5 and 171 of the 1999 constitution as amended can be subjected to the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) or any other law.
”Wheather there is any legal provision that prescribes the wearing of uniform as a condition precedent by the first defendant in view of his appointment under section 171 of 1999 constitution (as amended)
”Whether the first defendant not being a commissioned customs officer is mandated, required and/or under compulsion to wear Nigeria Customs Service uniform before the performance of the duties of Comptroller General
”Whether the powers and functions of the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service can be exercised without the first defendant wearing the uniform
” Whether every directives, functions or powers hitherto exercised by the first defendant without wearing the uniform is null and void”