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The Federal Government, has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to immediately launch an investigation into the activities of Kasmal International Services Limited, a firm that belongs to Senator Buruji Kashamu. It said the anti-graft agency should within the next three weeks, probe alleged involvement of the firm in stamp duty fraud.
FG, via a statement that was issued by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, on Wednesday, directed the EFCC to investigate “the purported consultancy agreement”, the Nigeria Postal Service entered with Kasmal International Services Limited for the collection of stamp duty from banking and other financial institutions in the country.
It alleged that the firm unilaterally waived all arrears of remittances owed the Federal Government of Nigeria by Commercial Banks and other Financial Institutions in the Country from 2004 till the commencement of a circular marked CBN/GEN/DMB/02/006, which the Central Bank of Nigeria issued on January 15, 2015. The AGF maintained that Kashamu’s firm granted the 11 years waiver without approval.
In a three-paged letter dated March 4, 2016, and signed by the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, Mr. Mohammed Saidu Diri, the AGF also asked the EFCC to interrogate the former Post Master General of the Nigerian Postal Service, Mr. Ibrahim Mori Baba and the Secretary/Legal Adviser of the establishment, B.S Yakubu.
A total of eleven documents were attached to the letter by the AGF to the EFCC, including the Nigerian Postal Service reference No. NIP/LSD/LSA/04/VOL.11/25 dated October 30, 2013; Nigerian Postal Service reference No. NIP/PMG/019/VOL. X dated November 6, 2013; Nigerian Postal Service reference No. NIP/PMG/019/VOL/XVIII dated December 4, 2015; as well as Kasmal International Services Limited letter dated January 16, 2016 to the Post Master General.
Other documents are Kasmal Group letter dated October 28, 2013; Kasmal International Services Limited dated January 21, 2016 to Post Master General; Central Bank of Nigeria memo CBN/GEN/DMB/02/006 dated the January 15, 2016; Nigerian Postal Service reference No. NIP/PMG/113/VOL.1/57 dated July 2, 2014 to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; Nigeria Postal Service reference No. NIP/PMG/019/VOL/XVIII dated December 4, 2015; Nigeria Postal Service reference No. NIP/PMG/019/VOL.X dated November 6, 2013 a well as Nigerian Postal Service reference No.NIP/PMG/181/VOL.11 dated February 1, 2016 to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation & Minister of Justice. Specifically, the AGF’s letter was captioned “Request for the Investigation of the Purported Consultancy Agreement for Collection of Stamp Duty from Banking and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) between Nigeria Postal Service and Kasmal International Services Limited (also known as Kasmal Group) which led Kasmal Group to Purport to Waive all Arrears of Remittances from 2004 till the Commencement of CBN Circular No. CBN/GEN/DMB/02/006 of January 16, 2015 which Nigeria Postal Service was entitled under Section 89 of the Stamp Duties Act LFN 2004 to Collect as well as the N20 Penalty on Every Such Unpaid Remittance of N50 as Prescribed by the said Stamp Duties Act”.
According to the AGF, “In the Nigerian Postal Service reference No. NIP/PMG/181/VOL.11 dated February 1, 2016, the Acting Post Master General of Nigerian Postal Service confessed that there is no formal memorandum of understanding/contract MOU agreement between NIPOST and Messrs Kasmal International Services Limited stating any term of engagement yet Kasmal International Services Limited proceeded to grant a waiver to all Commercial Banks and Financial Institutions by letter dated December 22, 2015 all arrears of remittances from 2004 till January 1, 2016 which NIPOST was entitled under Section 89 of the Stamp Duties Act to collect as well as the 20 Naira penalty on every such unpaid remittances of 50 Naira as prescribed by the Stamp Duties Act.
“See also Kasmal International Services Limited letter dated January 21, 2016 to the Post Master General/CEO, Nigerian Postal Service, Abuja. “The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation respectfully request that your Commission investigate this matter and submit a Report to him within three weeks of the receipt of this letter”.