The senators were angry that Ali did not put on Customs uniform, saying that as the head of Customs, he should live by example.
Ali, who appeared in ‘kaftan’ defied the lawmakers’ order that he should come in uniform.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu had asked the Customs boss why he failed to appear before the lawmakers in uniform as requested.
Ali’s reply was that the Senate did not state in its last letter to him that he should appear in uniform.
Ekweremadu, however, said the last letter only served as a reminder of the first letter to him, in which he was asked to come in uniform.
Unanimously, the senators refused to attend to him and ordered him to come back next Wednesday in uniform.
Deputy Leader, Bala Na’Allah, drawing from the customs and excise law, argued there is law that compels Mr. Ali to wear uniform.
He said the customs chief was oblivious of the law, saying “I am happy you said you needed legal opinion.”
“I regret his grandstanding,” Aliyu Wakil (APC-Bauchi), former customs officer said.
Olamilekan Solomon (APC-Lagos), Barnabas Gemade (APC-Benue) and Barau Jibrin (APC-Kano) also chided Mr. Ali and insisted he must wear uniform.
After the resolution, Mr. Ekweremadu explained that Section 2 of the customs law provides that all officers, including comptroller-general, must wear uniform.
“As number one officer, you should lead by example,” Mr. Ekweremadu said.