Emerging reports indicate the governments of Adamawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states are set to join the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in the appeal application on the Value-Added Tax (VAT), as the matter is likely to become messier among parties in the coming days.
The five northern states are to join the FIRS in the battle to overturn a judgment that empowered Rivers state to collect the VAT.
The New Diplomat had reported that a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Abuja granted an order, restraining FIRS from collecting VAT in Rivers state on the grounds that only the Rivers State Government has the exclusive powers to collect VAT within its territory.
Subsquently, the FIRS, in an appeal suit filed before the Court of Appeal, Abuja and marked CA/PH/282/2021 is seeking for the dismissal of the ruling of the High Court.
The Lagos state government and Oyo state government had also applied to be a co-respondent in the suit. While the appeal Court had granted Lagos state an order to join Rivers in the suit, the court is yet to hear Oyo state government argument.
Meanwhile, reports have indicated that the VAT back-and-forth is set to become a long drawn battle as the five northern states are set to join the FIRS in its appeal.
A source privy to the matter reportedly said the Attorney-General of the said states have already written their respective motions and would file it before the appellate court on Tuesday.
This is coming on the heels of the recent declaration of the Northern Governors’ Forum. Recall that the NGF had rejected the position of their Southern counterparts on VAT.
The northern governors had argued that there would be multiple taxation should every state enact its own VAT Law.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami is also reportedly seeking to a be co-appellant in the suit despite the fact that he is already a defendant. Media sources said Malami opted to be a co-appellant in a bid to allow him argue effectively before the court.