Appeal Court set to determine Lagos’ fate on VAT collection case

The Court of Appeal in Abuja will at any moment deliver a ruling in an application by the Lagos State Government seeking to be made a party and co-respondent in the appeal filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, against the Rivers State Government.

FIRS, in an appeal marked CA/PH/282/2021, is praying 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.

However, at the resumption of the matter, Lagos brought an application request that it should be allowed to join the suit as a respondent.

The ground of the application was that it is an interested party having been collecting VAT in Lagos.

In the application argued by its Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo, Lagos insisted that the decision of the Court of Appeal in the matter will affect it one way or the other.

Onigbanjo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, pleaded that the state be allowed to join so as to use the suit to protect its interest.

However, counsel to FIRS, Mahmoud Magaji, vehemently opposed the application on the ground that Lagos was not a party at the Rivers State High Court where the judgment being challenged was delivered.

A three-man panel led by Justice H. S Zamani rose to write ruling in the matter and which is billed to be delivered.

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