44 firms sue FIRS over N1.5bn excess duties

Forty four companies, including Continental Re-insurance Plc have sued the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), demanding the refund of over N1.15 billion excess stamp duties paid to the FIRS.

The appellants include Industrial and General Insurance Plc, Royal Exchange Assurance Nigeria Plc, International Energy Insurance Plc, Lasaco Assurance Plc, Adic Insurance Ltd. and Standard Alliance Life Assurance Company Ltd.

Others are Unity Kapital Assurance Plc, Sterling Assurance Nigeria Ltd., Zenith General Assurance Company Ltd., Equity Assurance Company Plc, Oasis Insurance Plc, Union Assurance Company Ltd., and Mansard Insurance Plc.

Also in the list are Crusader Insurance Company Plc, Capital Express Insurance Ltd., Cornerstone Insurance Plc, Uni-trust Insurance Company Plc, Aiico Insurance Plc, Nicon Insurance Company Plc, Insurance PHB Ltd., and NEM Insurance Company Plc.

The others are Lead Way Assurance Company Ltd., Intercontinental Wapic Insurance Plc, Staco Insurance Plc, Fin Insurance Company Ltd., Mutual Benefit Assurance Plc, IGI Postal Life Assurance Plc and Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc.

Among them are Standard Alliance Insurance Plc, Gold Link Insurance Company Ltd., Crystal Life Insurance Company Ltd., Intercontinental Life Ltd., Consolidated Hallmark Plc, Zenith Life Assurance Ltd. and Anchor Insurance Ltd.

Others are Great Nigeria Insurance Company Ltd., Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc, UNIC Insurance Plc, Niger Insurance Plc, Prestige Assurance Plc, Guardian Express Ltd., Custodian and Allied Insurance Plc and UBA metropolitan Life Insurance Ltd.

The 44 companies had earlier sued FIRS at the Tax Appeal Tribunal to refund excess stamp duties paid on various increases on their share capital from January 2003 till March 2011.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that at the resumed sitting on Friday in Abuja, Mr Nnamdi Ibegbu, adjourned the case till Dec. 2 for definite hearing.

The adjournment followed the absence of the counsel to the appellants in court.

Earlier, Ibegbu said the counsel to the appellants wrote a letter on Oct. 29, explaining the reasons for his absence in court and asked for the opinion of the respondent’s counsel.

Counsel to the respondent, Bright Igbinosa, stated that “in the interest of justice, I will not oppose the application.”

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