January 24, 2021

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Deduction of N50 as stamp duty by Banks is illegal by Federal High Court in Asaba

Deduction of N50 as stamp duty by Banks is illegal by Federal High Court in Asaba.

The Federal High Court in Asaba, Delta State, has declared the deduction of N50 as stamp duty on teller deposits or electronic transfer of funds illegal.

The court, presided by Nnamdi Dimgba, gave the verdict in a case between a businessman, Rupert Irikefe, and the Central Bank of Nigeria, Zenith Bank, and the Attorney General of the Federation.

A copy of the court judgement shows that it was delivered on Thursday, December 9.

Details of the judgement showed that Mr Irikefe, the plaintiff, sought eight declarations against the CBN and the other defendants – Zenith Bank and AGF.

He urged the court to declare, among others, that the conduct of the CBN in continuing to impose, direct the imposition, deduction or remittance to it by the Zenith Bank and or receiving the sum of #50 Naira as stamp duty on electronic transactions or transfer of monies from #1,000 (One Thousand Naira) upwards from his current account is unlawful and contemptuous of court judgements.

These deductions, he argued, the bank made despite the subsistence and or its awareness of the Judgements in Appeal No. CA/L/437A/2014 and Suit No. FHC/L/CS/126/ 2016.

But in their defence arguements, the CBN and others argued that the suit with preliminary objections which were all dismissed by the court were unmeritorious.

Mr Irikefe argued that by the decisions of courts on the subject, it was unlawful and disrespectful of the banks to continue to impose the charges on his account.

The CBN on it’s part claimed that it is protected from any liability whatsoever by Sections 52(1) and 53(1) of the CBN Act.

Zenith Bank, on its part, argued that it cannot be liable because it was merely acting on the instruction of a disclosed principal.

In its judgement, the court noted that the CBN’s argument was misconstrued and could not hold water.

Thereafter, the court ruled that by the dictate of Section 287 of the 1999 Constitution, the banks are bound by the decisions of the court and are under obligation to enforce them.

The court thereafter held that the argument of Mr Irikefe was meritorious and awarded the sum of N2 million as damages.

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