Bitter Face-off: Dino Melaye Slams Customs Boss Over Cold Reception of Senators

The Nigerian senator representing Kogi West Senatorial district in the National Assembly, Dino Melaye, has slammed the Custom Boss, Col. Hameed Ali (retd) as the face-off between Senators and the Customs boss deepens.

The bitter face-off between the Customs boss and the senators was yet again re-ignited after the Kogi Senator slammed Hameed Ali over the manner in which the Senate delegation was received at the Customs Abuja headquarters.

The reaction comes after reports surfaced online which stated that the Customs boss met with the Senators casually in the conference room.

Recall that Hameed Ali had last year failed to appear before the Nigerian senate in his uniform stating that his uniform has nothing to do with his capabilities as the Customs DG.

Dino Melaye while addressing the Red Chambers noted: “Before reading the prepared speech of the committee, let me make this small remark on what we have just observed here in form of breach of protocols.

“Mr CG, rather than meeting us here at the conference room by way of courtesy, you are supposed to have met us at the ground floor on arrival into the premises.

“That has been the practice of statutory bodies headed by Chief Executive Officers like you. Relevant Senate committees have over the years been accorded this by bosses of Immigration Service, Prison Service and others, making us to wonder why it is not so here today under your leadership.

“Therefore, before proceeding further, on account of this observation , we want the Customs management to know that the presence of this committee before it implies that the Senate itself is before it to put things in order as regards the economic waste taking place in the Customs Service requiring the seriousness it deserves from you and the entire management.”

Hameed Ali, however, in reaction to the allegation 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.

“So, there is no breach of protocol for not coming down to welcome you since appropriate officers have been assigned to do so. Our protocol is our protocol and should be allowed to be.

“In fact, by way of etiquette, it is the committee that is supposed to come to my office first on arrival and not just come straight to the conference room.

“Let me state clearly that we in the Nigeria Customs Service are servants of the people. We believe in Nigeria and working with others to make it great without being railroaded in anyway.

“Personally, I took this job because of my commitment to serve this country selflessly, having earlier done so in the military. So, nobody can tell me that I’m not a committed Nigerian.

“On your assignment you called economic waste, we shall cooperate with you to unearth whatever you want to unearth and effect any correction if there is any.”