- Rivers state has been temporarily stopped from collecting Value Added Tax (VAT) by the Court of Appeal
- This is as the appellate court on Friday ordered all parties involved in the VAT dispute to maintain the status quo
- The court made the pronouncement while ruling on a suit filed by the FIRS challenging Rivers state's power to collect VAT
FCT, Abuja - The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has ordered all parties involved in the Value Added Tax (VAT) battle to maintain the status quo.
Channels TV reported that 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.
Legit.ng gathers that a three-man panel of the appellate court led by Justice Haruna Tsammani gave the order on Friday, September 10, while ruling on an appeal filed by the Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS).
The order of the appellate court is the latest development in the series of legal tussles over whose responsibility it is to collect VAT.
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Over the years, the FIRS has taken up the responsibility of collecting VAT, however, the Rivers state government led by Nyesom Wike recently challenged the practice and won at the Federal High Court.
Governor Nyesom Wike had in August also assented to the Valued Added Tax Law, 2021 passed by the Rivers state House of Assembly.
The law empowers Rivers state to collect VAT in its domain.
However, with the ruling of the appeal court, the state government has to wait for the hearing and determination of the suit filed by the FIRS before going ahead to start collecting VAT.
The court has adjourned till Thursday, September 16 for the hearing of pending applications, The Nation also reported.
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The Attorney General of the State and Commissioner of Justice, Moyesore Onigbanjo, represented the state government at Friday’s hearing.
He informed the court that the interest of the state was at stake, stressing that if they were not joined, it would amount to a breach of a fair hearing.