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Bank CEOs Risk Arrest Over Non-remittance Of Stamp Duty

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The House of Representatives yesterday said it would issue an arrest warrant on chief executive officers (CEOs) of banks and other agencies that refuse to appear before it.

An ad-hoc committee in the House of Representatives had been constituted on April 25, 2019 to investigate the non-remittance of stamp duty funds into the federation account since 2010.

However, the committee is aggrieved with the absence of the CEOs at its sittings and has refused to accept representatives below the executive management cadre of the organisations.

Similarly, the Central Bank of Nigeria has confirmed to lawmakers that the federal government has realised N35.2billion from stamp duty collections since 2016.

This, the CBN said, was got from bank statements showing all the details of the amount collected, which had since been submitted to the lawmakers.

Yesterday at a public hearing in Abuja, the lower chamber of the National Assembly took the decision to issue a warrant of arrest on erring CEOs through a unanimous adoption of a motion by Hon Adekunle Akinlabi.

Akinlabi noted that “only three banks sent senior management staff to honour the invitation of the committee,” adding that “the CEOs were present when they wanted to secure the business but have refused to appear for an investigative hearing.”

He further stated that the investigation was very important and the CEOs who are saddled with the responsibility of collecting taxes should treat it with laxity.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the adhoc committee, Hon. Abubakar Ahmed (APC, Gombe) said that the House had received reports alleging irregularities in the collection of stamp duty amounting to trillions of naira, which were not remitted to the federation account.

Also, Hon. Olowale Raji (APC, Lagos) described the absence of the CEOs as “an act of irresponsibility.

“When some of the CEOs receive invitation from parliament, they treat it with levity. This is an insult on the House which we shall not allow,” he said.

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