Sanwo-Olu signs VAT bill into law as Appeal Court orders Rivers, Lagos to maintain status quo

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, on Friday, ordered both Rivers and Lagos states to maintain status quo on the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) pending the determination of an appeal that was lodged before it by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

The appellate court said the order was to preserve the ‘Res’ (subject matter) of the appeal before it.

A three-member panel of justices of the appellate court led by Haruna Tsammani specifically, it ordered all the parties that have subjected themselves before it to “refrain from taking any action to give effect to the judgement of the Rivers State High Court”, which gave Rivers State Government the right to collect VAT revenue, instead of the FIRS.

Earlier, at the court session, Moyosore Onigbanjo, attorney-general of Lagos state, informed the court of an application for the Lagos state government to join as a party in the appeal. 

The state had passed a VAT bill into law, awaiting the governor’s assent.

The court of appeal also deferred the hearing of Lagos state application for joinder to September 16.

However, Onibanjo protested against the issuance of the order to maintain status quo, insisting that such an order could not be binding on Lagos state since it is yet to be joined as a party in the appeal by FIRS 

Meanwhile, Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has now signed the VAT bill passed by the house of assembly into law.

According to Gbenga Omotosho, the commissioner for information and strategy, the governor signed the bill into law on Friday.

He said the governor signed the “bill for a law to impose and charge VAT on certain goods and services” after returning from an official trip to Abuja.

“By this act, the Bill has now become a Law,” he added.

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