Rivers Government drags FG to Supreme Court over Collection of VAT

Written by on September 15, 2021

Rivers State, through its Attorney-General, has gone to the Supreme Court to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal that ordered it to maintain status quo on the collection of Value Added Tax, VAT, pending the determination of an appeal that was lodged by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS.


The State, in its 10 grounds of appeal, a copy of which was sighted by newsmen, is equally praying the apex court to order that the substantive appeal by the FIRS marked CA/PH/282/2021, and all other processes therein, be heard and determined by a new panel of the Court of Appeal.


It maintained that the three-man panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, had in the ruling they delivered last Friday, erred in law when they relied on the provisions of Section 6(6) of the 1999 Constitution and the inherent jurisdiction of the appellate court, to order all the parties to maintain status quo on the VAT dispute.

It argued that the Court of Appeal legal lacked the powers to restore the parties to the position they were before the judgement of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt in suit No. FHC/PH/CS/149/2020, which was delivered on August 9.


It argued that the appellate court panel failed to take into account a decision of the Supreme Court in SHUGABA V. UNION BANK [1999],11 NWLR (pt. 627), page 459, to the effect “that no court has an inherent jurisdiction (except in extreme circumstances) to set aside the exercise of discretion of another court with regards to order made in respect of an application for stay of execution”.

Consequently, it prayed the apex court to allow the appeal, set aside the decision of the court of appeal on maintenance of the status quo, and further dismiss the oral application that was made by the FIRS.


It also prayed the apex court to order that the appeal the FIRS filed against the High Court judgement that stripped it of the right to collect VAT in the state, be heard by a fresh panel.


Credit: Vanguard


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