The Lagos State Government is before the Supreme Court challenging the collection of N50 stamp duty by the Federal Government on every N1,000 transaction conducted by customers in all commercial banks operating in Lagos State.
In an appeal filed before the apex court by its Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, the state government is contending that it ought to be the one collecting the N50 stamp duty rather than the Federal Government, The Punch reports.
According to Justice Kazeem, quoting Section 4(1) of the Stamp Duties Act, Cap S8 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the Federal Government had no right or power to collect and keep money paid as stamp duties on behalf of federating units.
He further called on the Apex Court to declare as illegal the instruction given to the Central Bank of Nigeria to deduct and remit to the Federal Government N50 stamp duty collected on every N1,000 bank transaction conducted within the Lagos State territory.
The justice also sought that the Supreme Court make an order compelling the Federal Government to remit to it all such monies it had so far collected as stamp duty on bank transactions conducted within the Lagos State territory.
Kazeem argued that Section 163(b) of the Constitution gave the state an entitlement “to the sum equal to the proportion of the net proceeds of the sum collected as duties on such transaction within the territory of Lagos State.”
While urging the Supreme Court to interprete the provisions of the Stamp Duties Act, 2004, he expressed the belief that Section 4(2) of the Act made the collection of the N50 stamp duty the exclusive preserve of the state.
The State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, further urged the Supreme Court to declare that “the action of the Federal Government in collecting stamp duties within the Lagos territory without remittance is illegal.”
It would be recalled, in January 2016, in the wake of the economic crisis, Nigerian banks were ordered to begin to charge N50 stamp duty on customers.