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Col. Dangiwa Umar reveals genesis of face off between Customs, Senate

* Says Senate on mission to derail war against corruption under guise of ‘oversight’
*Wants Saraki to rein in members
* Seeks support for Hamid Ali, Magu, Hadiza Bala

A former military governor of Kaduna State, Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar, has revealed the details of how the face off between the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hamid Ali and the Senate started.

The outspoken former governor, in a statement made available to journalists in Kaduna, said that the Customs had seized a huge consignment of rice imported by a company owned by an influential member of the Senate.

He said the company had declared as yeast in a bid to avoid paying the appropriate import duty on the rice.
Umar also disclosed that the same senator is the brain behind a company involved in the controversial $34million Calabar port dredging contract.
He said, the conduct of the Senate on the matter and similar matters seem to suggest that Senators “might be on a mission to crash the federal governments’ war against corruption using the power of ‘oversight’ as cover.”

He also called on the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to rein in Senators who are stepping out of line especially those in the Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariffs.

Citing the Committee’s handling of matters concerning the Nigeria Ports Authority and the Customs which, in his view, leaves room for suspicion, Umar asked Nigerians to actively support the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hamid Ali, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hajiya Hadiza Bala Usman, and a former BPP DG, Emeka Nzeh.

He said, ” Incidents such as these are the reason the Nigerian public feels let down by our Parliament. They are the reason why a whole lot of Nigerians take a dim view of members of the National Assembly.

“Some even believe the conduct of our legislators is a major factor holding Nigeria down; why it is a laughing stock among the nations of the world.

“It is the duty of all Nigerians to demand correct conduct from all public officials, including from members of the National Assembly; especially the Senate.

“Senator Bukola Saraki, the Senate President, must enforce discipline among his colleagues. No member of a committee, much less a chairman, should remain in his duty post once credible information about possible crime is received on the person.

“We need not remind our political leaders, most of all our legislators, that punishment always follow excess.”
He asked Nigerians to take interest in the activities of the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariffs, especially its relationship with the Nigeria Ports Authority.

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