The Implication of the Concept of Legal and Beneficial Ownership in Sukuk Structures under the Nigerian Tax Regime

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This article investigates the meaning of the concept of ownership as obtained under the common law and Shari’ah (Islamic law) as well as the implication in Sukuk (Islamic bonds) structures under the Nigerian tax regime. In doing this, the article analyses the concept of both legal and beneficial ownership under the common and Islamic law. This article examines the two forms of ownership under common law, i.e., legal and beneficial, and argues that there is controversy as to the need for such distinction for the concept of ownership under Islamic law. The article concludes that for a proper structuring of sovereign Sukuk in any jurisdiction, Nigeria inclusive, there is the need to first address the meaning of the concept of ownership under Islamic law. The article further concludes that the present tax regime in Nigeria needs to be amended to accommodate the uniqueness of Sukuk structures. The article, therefore, recommends that Sukuk structures should accord Sukuk holders with absolute ownership (malik tamm) and the various tax laws in Nigeria be amended to suit Islamic finance products.



Ownership; Sukuk Structures; Tax Regime; Nigeria; Shari’ah (Islamic law)


Vol 18, Issue 1