VAT: Why court granted Lagos request to join Rivers’ suit against FIRS

The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal has granted a joiner suit by Lagos state against the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

Recall the Court had ruled that Rivers state and not the FIRS has the power to collect VAT and Personal Income Tax within the state.

In the application as a co-respondent, Lagos state Attorney General, argued had that the application for joinder should be taken first before FIRS’ application for stay of execution.

However, the counsel for the FIRS, Mahmoud Magaji (SAN) argued that their application for stay of execution should take precedence over the application for joinder.

The Court consequently granted the FIRS stay of execution.

In the new ruling on Thursday, the Court of Appeal in a unanimous decision by a three-man panel of Justices, Thursday, held that Lagos State had through its Attorney-General, established that it “has a direct and substantial interest” in the matter.

It, therefore, made an order, joining Lagos State as the 3rd Respondent in the appeal the FIRS filed to set aside the judgement of a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, which gave Rivers State the nod to collect VAT revenues within its territory.

The Court of Appeal, in the ruling that was read by head of the panel, Justice Haruna Tsammani, ordered FIRS to serve the AG of Lagos State with all the relevant processes in the appeal.

It adjourned further hearing on the matter till October 7, disclosing that further proceedings in the case would be conducted in Port Harcourt.

Meanwhile, Oyo state has also a suit to join the Rivers state in the suit against the FIRS.

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