VAT Battle: Despite Urgency, Supreme Court Yet To Hear Rivers, Lagos Case

VAT Battle: Despite Urgency, Supreme Court Yet To Hear Rivers, Lagos Case

  • The hearing of the challenge against an order by the Court of Appeal on VAT is still shrouded in uncertainty
  • Recall that Rivers state government dragged the Federal Inland Service before the Supreme Court over the said order
  • Despite the urgency of the matter, investigations revealed that the appeal had not been listed for this week at the apex court

Despite the fact that many companies are stranded on their next line of action, the Supreme Court is yet to take up the case involving the federal government and Rivers state, Punch Newspaper reports.

Recall that the Rivers state government dragged the Federal Inland Service before the Supreme Court challenging the order by the Court of Appeal.

The court had directed all parties to maintain status quo in the Value Added Tax dispute.

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The companies currently do not know where to remit this month’s VAT between states and the federal government.

Supreme Court i yet to hear Rivers, Lagos case
The federal government will be hoping to win the battle against the states. Photo: Femi Adesina
Source: Depositphotos

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It is unclear if the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, had constituted the panel to hear and determine the appeal.

In fact, the matter had not been listed for hearing for the week.

VAT: Wike threatens showdown with FIRS

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers had earlier threatened to “take over” all offices of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in the oil-rich south-south state if the federal government agency continues with its “bullying.”

The governor spoke at a stakeholders’ meeting in Port Harcourt, the state capital while addressing business owners in the state.

Wike instructed all business owners operating in the state to start remitting their VAT to the Rivers government starting from September 2021.

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Lagos govt joins forces with Rivers in VAT battle against FIRS

Meanwhile, 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 FIRS against Rivers state.

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

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.

Presidency reveals President Buhari’s final decision on VAT controversy

Meanwhile, the Nigerian presidency has said President Muhammadu Buhari will respect the final verdict on the issue of Value Added Tax as decided by the Supreme Court.

The presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, made the disclosure while speaking during an interview on Arise TV.

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Adesina noted that though the case may drag up to the Supreme Court, the Nigerian leader would respect the rule of law.

The president's aide sharing his opinion said that the issue of VAT is good because there have been talks about restructuring and fiscal federalism in Nigeria.


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