The Nigerian Postal Service has begun shopping for firms to conduct forensic audit on Deposit Money Banks in order to ascertain how much they have collected from the controversial stamp duty.

Our correspondent reported that some banks had not been faithful in remitting all the funds accruing through the stamp duty to designated Stamp Duty Accounts domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

This informed the decision of NIPOST to conduct a forensic audit on the banks to determine the actual amount that had accrued through the deduction of N50 on deposits in bank current accounts with a value of N1,000 and above.

Findings by our correspondent revealed that prospective firms wishing to be considered for the job would have to submit both technical and financial bids.

While the technical bids measure the competence of the firms, the financial bids determine the price effectiveness that the bidders want to charge for the forensic audit exercise.

Both the technical and financial bids are expected to be opened in February after the compulsory six weeks’ allowed between the time of advertising for a Federal Government job and submission of applications.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had in a January 2016 circular to the DMBs directed them to deduct N50 for stamp duty on every deposit into a current account of N1,000 and above beginning from the first day of the year.

The circular has since been implemented by the banks in spite of the fact that there is a subsisting issue in the court on the subject.

Subsequently, the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission placed an embargo on the use of the funds accruing through the stamp duty as a result of the appeal instituted by a bank to challenge a ruling of a lower court directing the DMBs to pay arrears of what they were supposed to have collected as stamp duty since 2004.

Ruling on an appeal filed by Standard Chartered Bank against Kasmal International Services Limited and 22 others, Justice Ibrahim Saulawa and four other justices of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Judicial Division, held that the Stamp Duty Act, 2004 did not impose a duty on the banks to deduct N50 on deposits.

Kasmal International Services Limited, belonging to Senator Buruji Kashamu, and the School of Banking Honours had on February 17, 2014 obtained the judgement of a Lagos High Court against the banks to the effect that that they should remit more than N6bn through the firms to the Nigeria Postal Services they were supposed to have collected on deposits since the stamp duty became an Act of Parliament in 2004.