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Customs uniform: Lawyer drags NASS to court

*Don’t compel Hameed Ali to wear uniform 

Mohammed Ibrahim, an Abuja-based lawyer has asked the Federal High Court to restrain the National Assembly (NASS) and their agents from compelling the Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Colonel Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd.) to wear customs uniform in the performance of his duties.

This suit is coming a day ahead of the Senate’s insistence that Ali should appear before them in uniform. Ali had been mandated to wear his uuniform and appear before the Senate on Wednesday.

The suit which was filed Monday at the Federal High court Abuja named Ali, the NCS, the NASS, the Senate and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) as first to fifth defendants respectively.

The plaintiff 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.

With the institution of this suit, will Ali still have to appear before the Senate? Whether in uniform or not pending the determination of the suit by the court. These are salient questions that needs to be answered in the unfolding drama. No date has been fixed yet for hearing.

Nigerians certainly will be watching out to see what the reaction of the Senate will be to this suit which ordinarily should have put a brake on their pedal. Two, will Colonel Hameed Ali in respect of the court, having been served, refuse to go appear in parliament using the suit as alibi?

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