VAT: Lagos fate hangs as Appeal Court reserves ruling on joinder application

2 months ago 78

The Court of Appeal Abuja Division on Thursday reserved ruling on the application brought before it by the Lagos state government to join in the appeal by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), challenging the judgement of a Port-Harcourt Federal High Court, which had on August 9, 2021, ordered the Rivers state government to collect the Value Added Tax (VAT).

A three-member panel of Justices of the appellate court, headed by Justice Haruna Tsanammi, reserved ruling to a date that would be communicated to parties after they had argued and adopted their written addresses in the joinder application filed by the Attorney General of Lagos state, M.J Onibanjo.

The Attorney General of Lagos state told the court that the application was essentially seeking leave for Lagos State to be joined as a respondent in the appeal as an interested party.

The appellant (FIRS), according to Onibanjo made allegations against the Lagos State government, and therefore it was not out of place for the applicant to be joined.

He argued further that in accordance with Section 36 of the Constitution, Lagos State should be accorded an opportunity to defend the allegations in the spirit of a fair hearing.

He submitted that the state will be affected, one way or the other by the outcome of the appeal.

On his part, Mahmud Magaji (SAN), counsel to the appellant urged the court not to join the Lagos State government in the appeal.

FIRS is before the appellate court challenging the judgement of the trial court which barred it from collecting VAT in Rivers State.

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