The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, has ordered an investigation into the role of a firm belonging to Senator Buruji Kashamu, Kasmal International Services Limited, in the alleged controversial consultancy agreement over the collection of stamp duties.
A statement by the AGF’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Salihu Isah, on Wednesday said Malami asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, in a March 4, 2016 letter, to investigate the case and turn in its report within three weeks.
Kasmal International Services Limited was said to have entered the consultancy agreement with the Nigerian Postal Service on collection of stamp duties from banks and other financial institutions.
The AGF said the controversial agreement led the company to waive all commercial banks and financial institutions remittances from 2004 till January 1, 2016, which NIPOST was entitled to collected under Section 89 of the Stamp Duties Act.
Kasmal, within the same period, allegedly granted a waiver to all banks and financial institutions from remitting the N20 penalty on every unpaid remittances of N50 as prescribed by the Stamp Duties Act.
The AGF, in his letter signed on his behalf by the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Diri, said the acting Postmaster General/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Postal Service, Mr. Enoch Ade Ogun, had confessed that there was no Memorandum of Understanding between NIPOST and the firm stating any terms of engagement.
The AGF said without any formal contract between Kashamu’s company and NIPOST, the firm went ahead to grant a waiver to all commercial banks and financial institutions from making the stamp duty remittances.
However, lawyer for Kashamu’s company, Ajibola Oluyede, labelled the AGF’s move illegal.
Oluyede said the AG’s directive was a clear criminal contempt of the Federal High Court which had on February 24, 2016 in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/100/2016 made an order restraining the AGF and the EFCC “from interfering in a purely contractual relationship between KASMAL and NIPOST.”
“We have no doubt that right-minded observers will see the injustice in the move by the AGF’s office to deprive KASMAL of the fruits of its efforts. We will bring this unlawful abuse of office to the attention of the court at its next sitting on this matter on the April 17, 2016.