By Olalekan Awojodu
The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Friday stopped the Rivers State government from collecting Value Added Taxes VAT until all legal disputes relating to the matter are resolved.
This as Lagos governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu signed the bill into law at 11.45 am Friday morning. The governor signed bill after he returned from his trip to Abuja. Lagos Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotosho said that the governor signed the bill as signed by the State House of Assembly.
The court ordered that the judgment of the State high court from which the State drew authorities to collect the tax must not be implemented.
Justice Haruna Simon Tsanami who issued the order in Abuja also directed that the law passed by Rivers State House of Assembly and assented to by governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike must not be implemented.
The appellate court held that since parties have submitted themselves to the authorities of the court for adjudication of the matter, they must not doing anything that Will destroy the subject matter of the appeal.
In specific term, Justice Tsanami granted status quo ante below in favour of the Federal Inland Revenue Services FIRS and against the respondents.
The matter has been slated for September 16 for hearing of motion for joinder by Lagos State.
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.