I Won’t Appear Before Senate Until Court Ruling – Customs CG

customsReprieve may have come for the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs, Colonel Hameed Ali (rtd), who was ordered to appear in complete uniform before the Senate on March 22.

The development, follows a suit filed by an Abuja based lawyer, Mohammed Ibrahim, seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the National Assembly from compelling the CG to wear uniform in performance of his duties.

Mr Ali, who acknowledged receipt of the court summons, told a news conference that the Attorney General who is a co-defendant in the suit, has written to the National Assembly advising lawmakers to maintain the status quo, pending the outcome of the suit.

“Based on the summons before the court, all matters relating to the issue are now subjudice so status quo is “anti” which means I will not appear until the court makes a pronouncement therefore the situation remains as it is”.

The CG had been summoned to defend the payment of retroactive duties by motorists whose vehicles have no genuine import duties.

Although he eventually appeared before the Senate on March 16, he made good on his word of not appearing in his uniform.

The House, however, refused to engage him and fixed another date (March 22), for him to appear as required; failure to which the Senate leadership might be forced to issue an arrest warrant as initially threatened.

Meanwhile, more reactions have continued to trail the issue.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, in a statement condemned the summoning of Mr Ali.

He said that although the Senate should not be treated with disdain, the Upper Chamber should have appreciated the limit of its powers under the constitution.

According to Mr Falana, instead of playing into the hands of the Customs boss by invoking the provision of Section 88 of the Constitution, the Senate could have summoned the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, to justify the policy of the Nigeria Customs Service, a parastatal under her supervision.

“No power exists under the section for general investigation, not for personal aggrandizement of the House. So the appellants were not entitled to have invited the respondent in the first instance,” Mr Falana said.

Coroner Summons Prophet T.B. Joshua Over Synagogue Building Collapse

SynagogueThe Founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, Prophet T. B Joshua, has been summoned by the Coroner investigating the cause of the collapsed building at the church premises.

Coroner Magistrate, Oyetade Komolafe, issued the summons at the resumed hearing of the inquest on Friday at the Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja.

Prophet Joshua is to appear before the inquest on Wednesday, November 5, to tell the coroner what he knows about the cause of the collapsed building.

The building contractor is also expected to testify on the same day.

The Coroner also directed the Synagogue Church to provide the list of all the people lodged at the building before it collapsed.

About 115 people were reportedly killed in the incident that occurred on September 12.

Two people, however, testified before the coroner on Wednesday.

A Chief Operational Officer with the Lagos State Fire Service, Musiliu Adebayo, told the inquest that the building collapse was not caused by an explosion, while a zonal head of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, Mr Bamidele Oladiti, said that his men were on ground after the incident to manage human and vehicular traffic.

The South African High Commissioner, who was also at the hearing, said that the Synagogue incident had not affected the relationship between Nigeria and South Africa.