Friday, September 10, 2021 / 02:49
PM / by Wole Obayomi / Header Image Credit: Guardian NG
The Attorney Generals of the 36 States in Nigeria (the
States or "the Plaintiffs") recently filed a suit against the Attorney General
of the Federation (AGF or "the Defendant") at the Supreme Court (SC or "the
Court") in Abuja to determine the authority of States to collect stamp duties
on instruments executed between persons or individuals within their respective
States as provided in Section 4(2) of the Stamp Duties Act, Cap. S8 LFN 2004
The Plaintiffs, through the Nigeria Governors Forum,
had informed the AGF of their concerns regarding the administration and
collection of stamp duties via a letter dated 16 September 2020. However,
it appears that the AGF did not adequately address their concerns,
necessitating the filing of the suit.
We have highlighted below, some of the key issues and
prayers presented to the SC for determination in the suit:
- Whether the Defendant, having regard to the provisions
of Section 4(2) of the SDA, is the sole authority empowered to collect and
administer stamp duties on all transactions involving individuals/ persons
within the respective States?
- Whether, given the provisions of Section 4(2) of the
SDA, the Defendant is entitled to collect, administer, or keep the proceeds of
any collection of stamp duties paid on transactions involving individuals/
persons within the respective States without any agreement with, reference to,
or disclosures made to, the Plaintiffs?
- Whether the Plaintiffs are not entitled to the entire
sum of Stamp Duties collected by the Defendant on individual persons
transactions pursuant to Section 4(2) of the SDA?
- Whether the States are not entitled to 85% of
electronic money transfer levies collected on electronic transfers made in
their respective States?
- Whether the Defendant can amend the principle of
derivation as contained in Section 162(2) of the Constitution of Federal
Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) without a proper amendment of the said
- Whether the Defendant can legally pay Stamp Duties
collected on transactions involving individuals/ persons within the respective
States into the Federation Account rather than to the respective Plaintiffs'
States where such collections are derived?
The Plaintiffs sought reliefs in favour of the States
on all issues submitted before the Court for determination.
The issue of the appropriate authority to collect Stamp
Duties with respect to transactions involving persons and individuals resident
in the relevant States is longstanding. It is hoped that a ruling by the
SC would clarify this issue and provide certainty to taxpayers.
statement was first published in the Issue 9.4/ September 2021 Newsletter of
KPMG of Friday, September 10, 2021. For further enquiries, please contact the
author, Wole Obayomi via firstname.lastname@example.org
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