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VAT: Appeal Court Reserves Ruling

The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja has reserved a ruling on a motion by the Attorney General of Lagos State, Moyosore Onigbanjo, seeking to be joined as an interested party in an appeal concerning the empowerment of states to collect Value Added Tax VAT.

Galaxy's Godfrey Eshiemoghie reports that a three-member panel of the Appeal Court headed by Justice Haruna Tsammani Thursday in Abuja reserved ruling after listening to oral summaries of the written addresses of interested parties.

The Lagos State Attorney General is coming with the motion for joinder on grounds that the State is entitled to collect VAT, noting it is empowered to do so with the annulment of the VAT Act following the judgment of August 9 at the High Court in Rivers State.

The Attorney General said a party seeking to be joined as a respondent must show that its interest will be affected by the decision of the said case.

Mr Onigbanjo said the motion for joinder also seeks to prevent what he termed multiplicity of litigation that will result from Lagos going ahead to begin collecting VAT, having passed the VAT Act.

Lagos also prayed the Court to restrain the Federal Inland Revenue Service FIRS from collecting VAT, pending determination of the current appeal.

Attorney General of Rivers State who is one of the respondents in the main appeal equally throws his weight in the moves by his counterpart from Lagos to be joined as one of the respondents.

Attorney General of the Federation, who is opposing the motion for joinder is one of the respondents in the main appeal; he had his address struck out and deemed incompetent for being filed out of time.

Recall that the decision of High Court in Rivers State on August 9 empowered the state government to collect VAT, a decision Lagos State indicated strong interest in implementing.



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