The feud between the Senate and Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (retd), resurfaced on Monday in Abuja.
According to TheNation, trouble started when the Senate Ad- hoc Committee on Economic Waste in Nigeria visited the Customs Headquarters in Abuja as part of its oversight functions.
The drama was triggered by remarks made by Chairman of the Committee, Senator Dino Melaye, over the way the Senate delegation was received by the Customs high command.
Melaye said by protocol, the Customs chief was expected to come down from his office to welcome the committee members into the Custom premises. He said it was a breach of protocol for the Customs CG to casually meet the delegation at the conference room.
Melaye said the practice of ushering in the Senate delegation has been the practice with statutory bodies like Customs, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS) and others over the years.
He wondered why such established etiquette which was the norm under previous Customs chiefs was not accorded the committee by Ali.
The Customs CG told the Senate delegation that the agency has its own protocol that is different from other public establishments.
Ali said: “We have our own protocol as regards receiving visitors like you. I don’t need to come downstairs to receive you just as nobody in the Senate or House of Representatives has ever come out to receive us anytime we visit the National Assembly.”