Banks defrauding customers through stamp duty – NECA

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The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has alerted Nigerians that commercial banks in the country are defrauding millions of their customers through deduction of stamp duties from their accounts in spite of court judgement ruling against it.

Consequently, the employers’ association has called on the Federal Government to urgently impress on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) the need for the bank to respect valid judgment of the court and stop the systematic deduction.

Its Director-General, Mr. Timothy Olawale, recalled that the issue of imposing N50 stamp duty commenced when the CBN directed that banks should deduct N50 stamp duty on all transactions made, with a value of N1,000 and above, stating that it was to be in compliance with the Stamp Duties Act.”

He said, “The issue of stamp duty was tested in courts and a ruling was obtained in an appeal against the lower court judgment in the case of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Ltd vs. Kasmal International Services Ltd & 22 Ors in CA/L/437A/2014, when Justice Ibrahim Saulawa and four other Justices of the Court of Appeal held that the Stamp Duties Act did not impose a duty on Money Deposit Banks to deduct N50 on bank deposits.

“Thus, according to the Appeal Court, “electronic transactions” were not covered by the Stamp Duties Act. To the best of our knowledge, there was no challenge of this ruling by any party at the Supreme Court.”

Olawale lamented that the refusal by CBN and NIPOST to respect a valid judgment of a competent Court of the Land is worrisome.

According to him, it amounts to contempt of court and sustained daylight robbery of millions of bank customers’ deposits.

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