Law News
Court dismisses LCCI suit against lottery agencies

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday rejected the prayer by the Registered Trustees of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry to stop imposition of levies on its members who embark on sales promotional lotteries to motivate their customers.

The defendants in the suit were the Lagos State Lottery Board, the National Lottery Regulatory Commission and the National Lottery Trust Fund.

The LCCI filed the suit on behalf of its members, comprising over 2,000 companies across the various sectors of the Nigerian economy.

The body had sought a declaration that periodic sales promotions organised by companies to build brand loyalty and product awareness did not constitute “lottery business.”

Its lawyer, Mr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN), contended that it was unlawful for the defendants to continue to harass, intimidate and shut down companies which refused to remit lottery levies following sales promotions.

Nwobike argued that the defendants could not classify consumers’ sales promotions to motivate customers as lottery business and as such they should not mandate companies to remit lottery levies.

He challenged the National Lottery Act, 2005, the Lagos State Lotteries Law, Cap L89, 2004, and any related law, which the defendants were relying upon to impose lottery levies on LCCI members.

But the defendants, among other things, asked the court to dismiss the suit for being an abuse of court processes.

They argued that the plaintiff did not give them the mandatory 30 days pre-action notice before heading for the court to file the suit.

They also maintained that members of LCCI were mandated to pay levies on sales promotions by virtue of the Lagos State Lotteries Law, Cap L89, 2004, and the National Lottery Act, 2005.

Justice Ibrahim Buba, on Thursday said failure of the plaintiff to give the defendants 30 days pre-action notice was fatal to its case, saying he had no option but to dismiss the suit.

In dealing with the substantive issues, Buba also agreed with the defendants that LCCI members, who launched sales promos, were mandated to remit levies to the defendants since such promotional activities were regulated by the Lagos State Lottery Board.

But reacting to the judgment, the Director General of the LCCI, Mr. Muda Yusuf, indicated that they might file an appeal.

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