Breaking: Sanwo-Olu Backs Wike as Lagos Govt Joins Forces with Rivers in VAT Battle against FIRS in Court

Breaking: Sanwo-Olu Backs Wike as Lagos Govt Joins Forces with Rivers in VAT Battle against FIRS in Court

  • The Lagos state government has joined forces with the Rivers state over the right to collect Value Added Tax (VAT)
  • FIRS is challenging a Federal High Court judgment which empowered Rivers state to collect VAT from the companies in its domain
  • At the hearing of the appeal on Friday, the Lagos state applied to join Rivers as a co-respondent and the application was granted

FCT, Abuja - The Lagos state government on Friday, September 10, applied to the Court of Appeal in Abuja to be joined as a co-respondent in the appeal filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service against Rivers state, The Punch reported.

The FIRS is challenging the judgment of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, which held that Rivers state has the power to collect Value Added Tax (VAT) within its domain.

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VAT Dispute: Sanwo-Olu Backs Wike as Lagos Govt Joins Forces with Rivers against FIRS in Court
Lagos government applied to appeal court to be joined as co-respondent in the appeal filed by FIRS against Rivers state over VAT collection. Photo: Gov Nyesom Ezenwo Wike - CON, Babajide Sanwo-Olu
Source: Facebook gathers that matter slated for the day’s activity in court on Friday was the application filed by the FIRS seeking for stay of execution of the trial court’s judgment.

However, the Attorney General of Lagos, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), informed the court of the state's interest to be joined as a party in the appeal.

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He argued that the application for joinder should be taken first before FIRS’ application for stay of execution.

Appeal Court orders all parties to maintain status quo

After series of legal arguments, the appellate court ordered all parties involved in the VAT battle to maintain the status quo.

The court refrained all parties from taking action that would give effect to the judgement of a Federal High Court that allowed the Rivers state government to collect VAT pending the hearing and determination of the main suit.

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The court also granted leave to the Lagos state government to bring an application to be heard in the case as an interested party in the appeal, noting that the state’s right would be adversely effected if not heard, The Nation reported.

Sanwo-Olu signs VAT bill into law

Meanwhile, the Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has signed into law a bill empowering the state government to collect VAT.

The commissioner for information and strategy in Lagos, Gbenga Omotoso, made this disclosure in a statement on Friday, September 10.

Omotoso stated that the governor signed the bill into law after returning from an official trip in Abuja.

Why VAT law will be beneficial to Lagos, Obasa reveals

In another related report, the speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, has revealed how the VAT law would impact the state.

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Obasa noted that states have always felt financially strangulated and unfairly treated by the federal government.

According to him, the Lagos state government generates an excess of N500 billion in Value Added Tax (VAT).


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