VAT Dispute: Rivers Govt Files Appeal At Supreme Court

0
101
A file photo of a courtroom at the Supreme Court complex in Abuja. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Rivers State government has approached the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling of the Court of Appeal in the Value Added Tax (VAT) dispute between the state and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Emmanuel Ukala, alongside three other senior lawyers filed a notice of appeal at the apex court, documents obtained by Channels Television on Tuesday revealed.

The Attorney-General of Rivers State is the appellant while the FIRS and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) are joined as respondents.

The state government, in the 10 grounds of appeal dated September 13, informed the Supreme Court that it was dissatisfied with the decision of the appellate court delivered on Friday last week in which all parties were directed to maintain status quo.

It 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.

In one of the grounds of appeal, Rivers State alleged that the appeal court erred in law when it relied on the provisions of Section 6(6) of the Constitution and its inherent jurisdiction to found its decision to make an order to maintain status quo in the matter, pending the determination of an appeal filed by FIRS.

According to it, 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 state government, therefore, sought relief of the Supreme Court to allow the appeal, set aside the decision of the appeal court which they complained about, and dismiss the oral application for interim injection made by the FIRS.

It also asked the apex court to 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.

Source: channelstv