The Court of Appeal in Abuja has ordered Rivers and Lagos States to immediately stop the collection of Value Added Tax, VAT pending the hearing and determination of applications for stay of execution filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service against the judgment of the Federal High Court in Rivers State. A three-man panel of the appellate court justices led by Justice Haruna Tsammani ordered that the status quo be maintained following the oral application made by the counsel to the FIRS, Mahmoud Magaji. The appellate court held that since parties have submitted themselves to the authorities of the court for adjudication of the matter, they must restraint themselves from doing anything that will jeopardise the subject matter of the appeal. Earlier in his submission, counsel to Rivers State Government, Emmanuel Ukala made frantic efforts to stop the court from granting the status quo ante but the court ruled in favour of FIRS. In the appeal, FIRS is seeking to set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court in Rivers State that empower the state to collect while restraining the Tax Collection Agency from collecting VAT and personal income tax in the state. The court has adjourned till September 16 for hearing of an application filed by the Lagos State Government asking to be joined in the case.
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