By Ogbolu George
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), on Thursday took a swipe at the embattled Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali, for refusing to obey the Senate by appearing before it in his uniform.
Vice-President of the NBA, Monday Ubani (SAN), said although no law compelled the Customs boss to appear before the Senate in uniform, Ali must demonstrate respect for national institutions by wearing his uniform.
”There are people who have retired in the military and later appointed to head sister agencies, and they still wore that agency’s uniform.
”Someone like that was retired General Hananiyyah who was appointed as the FRSC boss and he still wore the FRSC uniform,” he said.
Insult on Nigerian senate
Ubani said the Customs boss, by refusing to wear his uniform, insulted the Senate.
”This is democracy, and the Senate, as the institution representing the people, deserves some level of obedience. The way forward is for Ali to behave himself and respect himself.
”Ali is saying he wants to get legal advice, but why didn’t he seek the advice when taking up the appointment? Why is it now that he knows that he, as the head of a uniformed agency, has to appear before the Senate in uniform that he is seeking legal advice?
”There is no known law that Ali has flouted, but wearing uniform simply shows discipline, identification and respect for the agency one is heading,” he added.
Presidency should take action
The Senior Advocate called on President Buhari to take action over Ali’s refusal to put on his uniform.
”He is an appointee of the President, and the President should decide what is best for him since he is not comfortable to wear the Customs uniform.
”We were not consulted when he was appointed. Those who have the power to hire reserve the power to fire,” Ubani said.