Appeal court joins Lagos in FIRS appeal over VAT collection

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The court of appeal, Abuja division, has granted the application of the Lagos state government seeking to be joined as a co-respondent in the appeal filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) challenging the judgment of the federal high court, Port Harcourt.

A federal high court in Port Harcourt had issued an order restraining the FIRS from collecting VAT and personal income tax (PIT) in Rivers state.Although the federal tax authority had appealed for a stay of execution, the court dismissed it on the basis that it would “negate the principle of equity”.Consequently, FIRS went to the court of appeal.

On September 10, the Lagos state government through its attorney-general, Moyosore Onigbanjo, applied to be joined as a party in the appeal. The state had also passed a VAT bill into law.Onigbanjo had submitted that the outcome of the appeal would have a direct impact on Lagos state.“My lord, it is not in dispute that Lagos, one of the federating states in Nigeria is entitled to collect VAT and that’s our interest,” he said.

“Even the appellant recognised that the Lagos state government has an interest in the matter in their affidavits in support of stay of execution where copious reference was made to the Lagos state government.

More to follow…

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