VAT: Appeal court grants FIRS’ stay of execution on Rivers, Lagos

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, on Friday, has granted a stay of execution argued by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, against Rivers and Lagos state over the collection of Valued Added Tax (VAT).

FIRS had appealed a judgement by the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt ruling that Rivers government has the power to collect VAT and Personal Income Tax within its sovereignty.

The Lagos state having passed a similar VAT bill on Thursday filed an application as a co-respondent with Rivers in the court.

A three-man panel of Justices of the appellate court led by Justice Haruna Tsammani made the order after it deferred the hearing of an application Lagos State filed to be joined as an interested party in the matter, till September 16.

The appellate court said the order was to preserve the ‘Res’ (subject matter) of the appeal before it.

The court mandated that all parties for the time being “refrain from taking any action to give effect to the judgement of the Rivers State High Court”.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Attorney-General, Moyosore Onibanjo, SAN, protested the ruling, insisting that such order could not be binding on it, since it was yet to be joined as a party in the appeal by FIRS.

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