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36 States Sue FG Over Stamp Duty

The 36 state governments have asked the Federal Government to refund over 176 billion naira said to be proceeds of stamp duties between 2015 and 2020.

They made the demand in a suit filed before the Supreme Court on Thursday, where the state attorneys asked the court to determine whether or not they are the sole authority to administer and collect stamp duties on all transactions involving individuals and persons within their respective states.

The states have also asked the court to ascertain whether or not they are entitled to 85% of all stamp duties collected on electronic money transfer levy, on electronic receipts or electronic transfers for money deposited in deposit money banks and financial institutions.

This is among the reliefs sought by the Attorneys General of all the states who have dragged the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to court over alleged failure to remit stamp duties proceeds into their accounts.

The states also asked for “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 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,” the Statement of Claims, read in part.

This comes amid the conflict between some states and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) over the collection of Value-Added Tax (VAT).

The Supreme Court is, however, yet to fix a date for the matter to be heard.

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