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Rivers govt drags FG to Supreme Court over VAT



Rivers State government has filed an appeal before the Supreme Court following an ongoing dispute with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on collection of Value Added Tax (VAT).

  The appeal was filed to challenge the ruling of the Court of Appeal which asked all parties involved in the case to maintain status quo.

With the FIRS and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) joined as respondents, the Attorney-General of Rivers State who is the appellant explained that the implication of the ruling of the appellate court was that parties were restored to their positions before a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt granted the Rivers State government the right to collect VAT, instead of the FIRS on August 9.

  He said the appeal court erred in law when it relied on the provisions of Section 6(6) of the Constitution and its inherent jurisdiction for an order to maintain status quo in the matter, pending the determination of an appeal filed by FIRS.

 The Rivers state government also averred that the appellate court in relying on its inherent jurisdiction to make the order, failed to appreciate that its inherent jurisdiction cannot be applied in contravention of statutory provisions.

The apex court was asked to allow the appeal, set aside the decision of the appeal court which they complained about, dismiss the oral application for interim injection made by the FIRS and also issue an 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.

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