The Rivers State government has upped the ante in its battle to collect Value Added Tax (VAT) within the state by filing an appeal at the Supreme Court challenging the ruling of the Court of Appeal in its face-off with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
The state is seeking the Supreme Court to set aside an order of the Court of Appeal which directed the state to maintain the status quo on the collection of VAT pending the determination of an appeal filed by the FIRS.
The Notice of Appeal from the Rivers state government was filed by its legal team led by Emmanuel Ukala SAN.
The Rivers government In the 10 grounds of appeal dated September 13 expressed dissatisfaction on the Appeal Court decision.
It alleged that the appeal court erred in law when it relied on the provisions of Section 6(6) of the Constitution and its inherent jurisdiction to found its decision to make an order to maintain status quo in the matter, adding that the court failed to appreciate that its inherent jurisdiction cannot be applied in contravention of statutory provisions.
Rivers said the order of the appellate court be set aside the decision of the appeal court; dismiss the oral application for interim injunction made by the FIRS; and order that the substantive appeal by the FIRS and all other processes, be heard and determined by a new panel of the Court of Appeal.
Everyday.ng reports that the Court of Appeal in Abuja last week halted the Rivers State government from collecting Value Added Taxes (VAT) until all legal disputes relating to the matter before it are resolved.
On the same day, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu signed the Lagos VAT Law.
The Appeal court ordered that the judgment of the Federal High Court from which the State drew its power to collect the tax must not be implemented.
Justice Haruna Simon Tsanami who issued the order in Abuja on Friday also directed that the law passed by Rivers State House of Assembly and assented to by governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike must not be implemented.
The appellate court held that since parties have submitted themselves to the authority of the court for adjudication of the matter, they must not do anything that will affect the subject matter of the appeal.
FIRS, in an appeal marked CA/PH/282/2021, is praying the court to set aside the judgment of a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt which granted power to the state to collect VAT.