Friday, March 17, 2017 1:22 pm
Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) who was appointed in August 2015 by President Muhammadu Buhari as the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has been in the public glare of late. First, there was a controversy about the demand by Customs, giving car owners one month to pay duties for their vehicles (for those who had not done so), failing which they would be penalised.
As the deabate raged on, the Nigerian Senate stepped in. It invited Ali to appear in full Customs uniform before it and explain the policy (which has now been put on hold). And when he did, it was in mufti, a defiance that angered the upper legislative shamber to walk him out.
Now, scrolling back in time, Ali was a member of the Abacha tribunal that sentenced the “Ogoni 9.” including minority rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, to death by hanging, in 1996. Also, Ali was Kaduna’s military governor from 1996 to 1998 under Abacha.
When asked if he had any regret in the role he played in the heartless murder of Ken-Saro Wiwa and the “Ogoni 9, Nairaland reported that Ali said he had no regrets over his role in the process that led to Saro Wiwa’s execution.
Although his supporters defended him that as a member of the tribunal, Col. Ali was under instruction and, as a military officer, had no mind of his own, the same man stood his ground when even as a die-hard IBB boy “fell out after Babangida annulled the June 12 1993 elections.” As Nairaland reported, Ali told IBB, his principal, that he was wrong, pointing out that Abiola “should be sworn-in as president even if he was the devil.”