Stop VAT collection, Appeal Court Tells Rivers,Lagos States As Sanwo-Olu Signs Law On Open Grazing.

The last has not been heard of the legal debacle between Rivers State Government led By Governor Nyesom Wike And Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS over Valued Added Tax, VAT collection.

Wike, Sanwo-Olu vs FIRS

The Rivers State Government had ordered the State internal Revenue board to begin collection of VAT after a federal highbcourt stroke out the FIRS moves to stop Rivers from collecting VAT.

On Thursday, Lagos State House of Assembly passed the Bill on VAT Collection and Anti-open grazing Bill.

Early on Friday, Governor Sanwo-olu signed the bills into law

But on frinday, September 10, 2021, The Court of Appeal in Abuja asked both the federal inland revenue and Rivers state government to maintain status quo ante, and refrain from taking any action that would give effect to the judgement of the federal high court.

Justice Haruna Tsanami who issued the order on behalf of the three-member panel, also directed that since parties have submitted themselves to the authorities of the court for adjudication of the matter, they must not do anything that Will destroy the res of the matter .
When the matter came up on Friday, the Attorney general of Lagos state , Moyosore Onigbsanjo, SAN told the court of his intention to join in the suit filed by the FIRS that because Lagos state just has also passed it’s bill on revenue collection.

But the move was opposed by counsel for the FIRS, Mahmoud Mogaji saying his application should be giving priority especially in the circumstances of the case before any form of joinder in the suit.

Moreover taking there application to stay the execution of the port Harcourt judgement will not in anyway jeopardize the interest of the party.

On the part of the Rivers state government, it’s counsel Emmanuel Ukala frowns on the idea of the joinder.

The Panel after taking all arguments ordered Lagos state to join as a party in the case

Ruling on the application to stay execution of the lower court decision, the court of appeal ordered all parties to maintain status quo pending hearing and determination of the suit.

FIRS, in the appeal is asking the court to set aside the judgment of a Rivers State High Court which granted power to the state to collect Value Added Tax, VAT.

The tax collection agency is also asking the appellate court to stay the execution of Rivers’ judgment which empower Rivers State government to collect Value Added Tax, VAT, within Rivers State on the state government and not FIRS.

The matter has been slated for September 16 for hearing of motion for joinder by Lagos State.
FIRS had through a motion on notice applied for a stay of execution on the earlier judgement delivered by Justice Stephen Pam, affirming the constitutional role of the state governments to collect VAT and not FIRS.