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Governors sue FG over stamp duties, demand remittance of N176bn

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THE governors of the 36 states in Nigeria have dragged the Federal Government to the Supreme Court over alleged non-remittance of funds generated as stamp duties from the states.

In the suit marked SC/CV/690/2021 filed on August 24 by their attorneys-general, the states argued they have the sole authority to collect stamp duties and not the federal government.

They asked the court to mandate the federal government to pay N176 billion as the backlog of stamp duties collected from 2015 to 2020.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, was listed as a respondent in the suit.

The Rivers and Lagos State governments had recently initiated the processes for the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) in their domains.

The states asked the apex court to determine among others; “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) are not the sole authority to administer and collect stamp duties on all transactions involving individuals/persons within their respective states?

“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, the concurrence of, input, or agreement of the plaintiffs?

“Whether or not they are entitled to 85% 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.”

No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.

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