criminal contempt’

The lead counsel to Kasmal International Services Limited, Prince Ajibola Oluyede, has reacted to the directive by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), that the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC) investigate the contractual agreement between the company and the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST).
Oluyede, in a statement in Abuja yesterday, argued that the directive amounted to a criminal contempt of the Federal High Court, which, on February 24, 2016, restrained the AGF and the EFCC from “from interfering in a purely contractual relationship between Kasmal and NIPOST”.

He noted that the Federal High Court, in two suits between Kasmal and 22 Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) as well as Kasmal and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), interpreted the Stamp Duties Act LFN 2004 and the NIPOST Act LFN 2004 and found that the Stamp Duties Act provided for the exemption of certain documents (including receipts for teller deposits and electronic transfers by DMBs for N1000 and above from payment of stamp duties, if the documents have affixed to them N50 postage stamps bought from the NIPOST.

“The two actions were brought by Kasmal as public interest actions to ensure that the banks remitted the N50 to NIPOST after NIPOST had appointed Kasmal as its agent…

“Although 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 believe the directive by the AGF is mischievous and calculated to bring the judicial process into disrepute.

“We will bring this unlawful abuse of office to the attention of the court at its next sitting on this matter on April 17, 2016,” he said.

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