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Appeal Court Directs Lagos, Rivers To Halt VAT Collection

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Friday directed the Lagos and Rivers state governments to hold off on collecting value-added tax (VAT) in their states until all legal disputes relating to the matter are resolved.

All parties involved are to maintain status quo antebellum, which favours the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS).

The directive, given on Friday by Justice Haruna Simon Tsanami, means the state governments cannot enforce the VAT Collection Bills the respective governors had signed into law.

Justice Tsanami pointed out that having submitted themselves to the court’s authority for the matter’s adjudication, all parties involved are bound by the judgement and must “refrain from taking any action to give effect to the judgement of the Rivers State High Court.”

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Vanguard Newspaper reports that the Lagos state Attorney-General, Moyosore Onibanjo (SAN), said  the order to maintain the status quo is not binding on the state since it is not a party in the appeal by the FIRS.

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu had earlier on Friday signed the VAT bill into law.

In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said the governor signed the “Bill for a Law to Impose and Charge VAT on Certain Goods and Services” at about 11.45am on Friday

The next hearing is billed for September 16 for hearing of motion for joinder by Lagos state.

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