VAT dispute: Appeal Court orders all parties to maintain status quo

…Matter adjourned to Sept. 16 for hearing

The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja has ordered all parties to maintain status quo and refrain from taking action that would give effect to the judgment of a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, which allowed the Rivers State government to collect Value-Added Tax (VAT), pending the hearing and determination of the instant suit.

A 3-man panel of the appellate court, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, gave the order yesterday, while ruling on an appeal filed by the Federal Internal Revenue Service, (FIRS).

Justice Haruna Simon Tsanami, who issued the order in Abuja yesterday, also directed that the law passed by Rivers State House of Assembly and assented to by the State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, must not be implemented.

The appellate court held that since parties have submitted themselves to the authorities of the court for adjudication of the matter, they must not do anything that will destroy the subject matter of the appeal.

In specific terms, Justice Tsanami granted status quo ante in favour of the Federal Inland Revenue Services FIRS and against the respondents.

The matter has been slated for September 16 for a hearing of the motion for joined by Lagos State.

FIRS, in an appeal, is praying the court to set aside the judgment of a Rivers State High Court which granted powers to the State to collect VAT proceeds.

The tax collection agency is also asking the appellate court to stay the execution of Rivers’ judgment.

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