VAT: AGF, Adamawa, Kaduna, Plateau States set to battle Rivers and Lagos States in Court.

Written by on October 4, 2021

The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the governments of Adamawa, Kaduna and Plateau States are set to join the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in its appeal against Rivers and Lagos States to collect Value Added Tax (VAT).

The Lagos State Government was on Thursday last week joined as a respondent in the legal battle against FIRS on the collection of VAT by the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal.

Ruling on the motion for joinder filed before it, the Court of Appeal held that Lagos has established beyond doubt that it had substantial and sufficient legal right and interest to protect in the revenue collection  dispute.

In a  unanimous ruling,  the court ordered that all processes filed in respect of the suit be served  on Lagos as a third  respondent to enable the state respond as required by law to the appeal filed by FIRS. 

But while Rivers and Lagos states are challenging the powers of the FIRS to collect VAT,  the three Northern states are entering the battle field to pitch tent with the FIRS and the Federal Government.

The FIRS is contesting the judgment of the Port Harcourt division of the Federal High Court, stopping it from collecting VAT and Personal Income Tax (PIT) in Rivers State.

Justice Stephen Pam of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, had in his judgment, held that it was the Rives Government that should collect VAT and PIT henceforth in the state.

The court also issued an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Attorney General of the federation, both first and second defendants in the suit, from collecting, demanding, threatening and intimidating residents of Rivers State to pay to FIRS personnel income tax and Value Added Tax.

However, dependable sources closed to the AGF and governors of the three states, yesterday, in Abuja confided in our correspondent that they would file a leave of the court to be joined in the suit on Tuesday.

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