FG is considering taking the VAT dispute to the Supreme Court - AGF

It asked the Supreme Court to approve the appeal, set aside the appellate court's judgment, and deny the FIRS's oral plea for interim injection.
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Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami

The Federal Government has tried to find a lasting resolution to the problems as additional reactions follow the debate over the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT).

Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) told reporters in New York on Wednesday that the government was contemplating pursuing legal action before the Supreme Court.

Malami told reporters on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in the United States that
“The Federal Government had indeed taken cognisance of the fact that where there exists a dispute between a state and the Federal Government, it is the Supreme Court that should naturally have the jurisdiction to determine the dispute between the state and the federation.”

“And we are taking steps to consider the possibility of instituting an action before the Supreme Court for the purpose of having this matter determined once and for all.”

Justice Stephen Pam of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt gave the Rivers State government the right to collect VAT instead of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in a judgment issued in August, clearing the way for Governor Nyesom Wike to sign the VAT Law, 2021.

The FIRS, however, was not pleased with the development and filed a petition on notice to ask for a stay of execution on Justice Pam's previous decision.


Governor Nyesom Wike, After the signing of the contract for the dualisation of the first phase of the Ahoada-Omoku road at the Rivers State Government House

Justice Pam, on the other hand, denied the application, citing the federal agency's failure to submit an application to set aside the Rivers State House of Assembly's newly adopted tax legislation.

Governor Wike stated that the state's VAT law was valid and in force, but he also directed the state's revenue agency to fully implement the law.

The FIRS later filed a civil action with the Court of Appeal in Abuja, requesting a stay of execution of the Rivers court's judgment until the outcome of the case.

Following that, a three-judge panel of the appeal court, chaired by Justice Haruna Tsammani, ordered the parties to preserve the status quo and desist from taking any action that might give effect to Justice Pam's judgment, until the hearing and decision of the current complaint.

The Rivers State administration responded by filing an appeal with the Supreme Court, challenging the appellate court's decision.

It asked the Supreme Court to approve the appeal, set aside the appellate court's judgment, and deny the FIRS's oral plea for interim injection.

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