The Court of Appeal in Abuja has reserved a ruling on an application by Lagos State to be made a respondent in the appeal filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), over a High Court judgment that authorized Rivers State Government to collect VAT in the state.
The appeal by the FIRS is against August 9, 2021 judgment by Justice Steven Pam of the Federal High Court in Port-Harcourt, voiding the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act and holding the states could collect VAT.
A three-man panel, led by Justice Haruna Simon Tsanami, after listening to arguments by lawyers to parties on Thursday, said they would be informed when the ruling was ready.
In arguing Lagos’ application, the state’s Attorney General, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) said his client was a necessary party as it would be affected by the outcome of the case.
Lawyer to Rivers State, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) agreed with Onigbajo and urged the court to join Lagos, while lawyers to FIRS and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mahmud Magaji (SAN) and Tijani Gazali (SAN) argued otherwise and prayed the court not to join Lagos.