Thursday, 14 May 2020

Nigerian Customs To Pay N5m Damages To Man And Refund Illegal Duty Paid on Luggage

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) was on Wednesday ordered to pay N5million damages to a Nigerian, Kehinde Ogunwumiju.

NCS was also ordered to refund an illegal duty he was forced to pay upon his arrival from a trip.

Justice J. T. Tsoho of Federal High Court, Abuja, gave the ruling in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/1113/2019.

The plaintiff, Ogunwumiju, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) via his counsel, Tunde Adejumo, had approached the court via originating summons which sought a declaration that it was unlawful for Customs officers to have demanded and collected import duty from him.

The duty was collected on a personal effect (a Louis Vuitton laptop bag) found in his baggage when he arrived at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, on 24th June, 2019.

 


In his judgement, Justice Tsoho, held that goods contained in a passenger’s baggage were not intended for sale, barter or exchange and found to be personal effects.

The court also found that the defendants failed to establish via cogent and credible evidence that the said bag was meant for sale.

The judge said there was no legal basis upon which the officers of the Nigerian Customs Service demanded and collected import duty.

He ruled that the action was unlawful, null and void and ordered the NCS to refund the sum of N156,955 duty paid and also pay N5,000,000 as damages.

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