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Court hears banks’ appeal against stamp duty April 7


NIPOSTA panel of the Court of Appeal will on April 7 hear the appeal filed by 22 commercial banks challenging the order to them to remit to Nigerian Postal Services through KASMAL International Services Limited a sum of N50 as stamp duty on every transaction from N1, 000 and above.

The order came as a judgment of a Federal High Court, which was delivered by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke in Lagos.

The five-man panel presided over by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa adjourned the appeal for hearing and that notices should be issued to all parties in the matter.

At the lower court, the KASMAL International Services had in a 32-paragraph affidavit deposed to by its chairman, Prince Buruji Kashamu, urged the court among others to order the banks to give effect to the agency agreement between it and the Nigerian Postal Services as well as the corporate agreement between it and the School of Banking Honours.

Justice Aneke had in his judgment declared that upon a community reading and the construction of the provisions of the Stamp Duties Act 2004, NIPOST Act 2004 and the Federal Government of Nigeria Financial Regulations 2009, the 22 banks are obliged to deduct and remit to NIPOST through the plaintiff a sum of N50 as stamp duty on all receipts by electronic transfer or teller deposit of monies from N1000 upward made into accounts operated in all their branches.

Dissatisfied, the banks in their separate notice of appeal urged the appellate court to allow the appeal and set aside the judgment of the lower court.

They argued that the lower court erred in law when it held that KASMAL International Services Limited’s suit was properly commenced by originating summons.

The appellants through their respective counsel stated that the lower court judge erred in law when he held that the respondent had the locus standi to institute the suit for the recovery of stamp duties.

They also faulted the decision of the lower court when it held that the banks transactions relating to electronic funds transfer on held of its customers and teller deposits of funds by its customers can be described as receipts within the provisions of Section 89 of the Stamp Duties Act.

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