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VAT saga: Oyo applies to join Rivers’ suit against FIRS

The Oyo State Government has asked the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for joinder in the suit instituted by the Rivers…

The Oyo State Government has asked the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for joinder in the suit instituted by the Rivers State Government against the powers of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to collect the Value Added Tax (VAT).

The application for joinder was filed by the Attorney-General of Oyo State, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo.

A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, had on August 9 issued an order restraining the FIRS from collecting VAT and personal income tax (PIT) in Rivers.

The court directed the state government to take charge of the collection.

Subsequently, Lagos State also joined Rivers in the suit on VAT collection but an appellate court ordered a stay of execution following an appeal by the Federal Government.

In the application for joinder, Oyo State said it was unaware of the suit between the Attorney-General of Rivers State and the FIRS at the Federal High Court until the judgement was delivered.

Other grounds upon which the application was based include that the decision of the appellate court would affect the collection of VAT by the government of Oyo State, being one of the States which the judgement of the lower court recognised as entitled to collect VAT within its territorial jurisdiction.

In a 12-paragraph affidavit in support of the motion filed by the Director of Civil Litigation, Olatunji Sunday Thomas, the state said that it was in the interest of justice that the application be granted.