The Attorneys General of the 36 states of the Federation will on Wednesday meet in Lagos to discuss some critical legal issues bordering on Value Added Tax, Paris Club Refunds, and Stamp Duty, among others.
The meeting, which is scheduled to hold from June 15-17 will have the Chairman of the Nigerian Southern Governors’ Forum and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu delivering the keynote address at the opening session.
Other issues to be deliberated upon by the States Attorneys General are the proposed amendments to the stamp duties act, pensions and gratuity for judges, and amendments to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999)as amended.
Other critical legal issues to be discussed at the meeting are the state Anti-Corruption Commission established by states and the FIRS threat to recovering “unremitted tax deductions by states” and local governments.
The meeting is also expected to be addressed by the governors of Lagos and Plateau State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Simon Lalong.
Other speakers are the Attorneys General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Olumide Akpata and the Director-General of the Nigerian Governor’s Forum, Asishana Okauru.
The Attorney-General of Lagos State, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) who is also the interim chairman of the Body of Attorney’s-General of States of the Federation will also make a presentation at the meeting.
The body was established as part of efforts to form a formidable force of state Attorney Generals, to take positions on legal issues, advise the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and take legal action or review legal actions taken on behalf of all states.
Part of its mandate includes the pursuit of true federalism, adherence to the constitution, rule of law, independence of the judiciary, as well as liaison with the AGF on behalf of the states on legal issues.
It would be recalled that the body of state Attorneys General recently warned the federal government not to tamper with funds accruing to the states and the 774 Local Government Councils in the guise of satisfying the alleged $418 million London/Paris Club Loan refund-related judgment debts.
They had insisted that the judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which dismissed their opposition to the payment, is now a subject of an appeal.
They further warned that should the Federal Government proceed to make any such deduction, it would be acting illegally and in contempt of their appeal challenging the judgment, which is before the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division.