Senate Orders Ali’s Arrest As Custom Suspend Duties on Vehicles

The decision of the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs, Col Hameed Ali, rtd, early this morning to suspend the implementation of its controversial plan on payment of import duties on old vehicles could not soften the Senate on its earlier stand to compel him to appear before the federal lawmakers tomorrow.

In a unanimous motion passed at their plenary on Wednesday, the Senate agreed to issue a warrant of arrest to compel the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), retired Col. Hammed Ali, to appear before it on Thursday.

Ali who had earlier vowed not to answer the summons of the Senate to appear in uniform before it and explain why he was adamant on carrying out the oppressive policy, had tried without success to circumvent the order until President Buhari is said to have intervened by directing him to obey the lawmakers’ order.

In a volte-face, the Nigerian Customs Service on Wednesday announced the suspension of the implementation of the payment of import duty on old vehicles.

The Acting Public Relations Officer, NCS, Mr. Joseph Attah, said the suspension of the policy will remain until the Senate gives the go ahead

“Following the unnecessary tension generated as a result of misconception and misrepresentation of the Nigeria Customs Service planned motor duty payment, the leadership of the National Assembly and the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) met with a view to resolving the impasse, he said in a statement, adding that

“They both agreed that the proposed motor duty payment, though in line with the provision of Customs and Excise Management Act Cap C.45, LFN 2004 should be put on hold while the Senate Committee on Customs and Excise interfaces with the NCS for further discussions.

“While payment of duty on vehicles or indeed any dutiable imported item remains a civic responsibility of every patriotic Nigerian, NCS management has directed that the exercise be put on hold while expressing readiness to engage the Senate Committee on further discussions to bring them on board to understand the importance of the exercise to national security and economy.”