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Stamp duties: 36 states’ Attorneys-General haul Justice Minister, Malami to Supreme Court, demand N176bn collected from 2015 -2020

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For its failure to remit revenue generated from stamp duties into the accounts of the 36 state governments, the Federal Government has been dragged to court by the states’ Attorneys-General.

Specifically, the states sued the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Malam Abubakar Malami (SAN).

The states hinged their action on the statue books that they are the sole authorities to collect stamp duties and not the Federal Government.

Persecondnews reports that the suit No. SC/CV/690/2021, dated August 24, 2021 is currently before the Supreme Court.

‌However, no date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.

The attorneys-general are asking among others that the court should determine whether or not, “Having regard to the mandatory provisions of Section 4(2) of the Stamp Duties Act Cap. S8 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) the plaintiffs (all the state attorneys-general) are not the sole authorities to administer and collect stamp duties on all transactions involving individuals/persons within their respective states.

They also asked the court to determine “whether having regard to the provisions of Section 4(2) of the Stamp Duties Act Cap. S8 of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria read in conjunction with the provisions of Section 163, items 58 and 59 of the Second Schedule part I and items 7 (a) and (b) of the second Schedule part II and other provisions of the Constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the defendant (Malami) could claim, retain, distribute or in any other manner deal with the monies or sums collected as stamp duties on individual persons transactions within the respective states of the plaintiffs without reference to, concurrence of, input or agreement of the plaintiffs

“The court to ascertain whether or not they are “entitled to 85 per cent of all stamp duties collected on electronic money transfer levy, on electronic receipts or electronic transfer for money deposited in deposit money banks and financial institutions, on any type of account to be accounted for and expressed to be received by the person to whom the transfer or deposit is made in the plaintiffs’ respective states.

“A declaration that they are the sole authorities entitled to administer and collect stamp duties on all transactions involving individuals within their respective states.

“A declaration that the defendant is not entitled to collect, administer or keep the proceeds of any stamp duties on transactions involving individuals within the respective states of the plaintiffs or any manner interfere with the plaintiff’s right and authority in the administering of the provision of Section 4(2) of the Stamp Duties Act Cap. S8 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

“A declaration that the plaintiffs are entitled to all the sums of money collected by the defendant as stamp duties through whatever source or means in their respective states from 2015-2020 and thereafter till the time of the judgment of this honourable court with respect to individual persons’ transactions.

“A declaration that the plaintiffs are entitled to 85 per cent of all stamp duties collected on electronic money transfer levy, on electronic receipts or electronic transfer for money deposited in deposit money banks and financial institutions, on any type of account to be accounted for and expressed to be received by the person to whom the transfer or deposit is made in the plaintiffs’ respective states.

“An order directing Malami to account for and pay back all money and collected by way of stamp duties on individual persons’ transactions within the respective states of the plaintiffs from the period 2015-2020 and thereafter till the time of the judgment.”

On the N176 billion collected as stamp duties on individual persons’ transactions within their respective states from 2015 to 2020, the states want an order directing the defendant (Malami) to pay them the total amount.

“An order of court directing the defendants to the 36 states all the sum of money amounting to N176,067,400,000,00 representing ascertained and admitted collected stamp duties on individual persons’ transactions within their respective states for the period of 2015-2020 and thereafter till the time of the judgment of the court or any other sum as they may be found entitled by the court.”

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