An Appeal Court sitting in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja has granted Lagos State Government approval to join the ongoing suit between the Federal Government and River State Government to determine the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) across the country.
After granting Lagos state government request, the appellate court ordered all processes earlier filed to be served on the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice for the state, Moyosore Onigbanjo.
The Apex government through the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) had filed an appeal at the appellate court to challenge a ruling made by a High Court sitting in Rivers State that awarded VAT collection to state governments.
At the resumed hearing of the matter on Thursday, the judges led by Justice Haruna Tsammani approved the state request and adjourned the case to October 7th, 2021.
Aside from that, the case would be now be heard at the Appellate Court in Port Harcourt as against the court sitting in Abuja.
Earlier, Onigbanjo had told the court that the constitution recognised states to collect VAT and the FIRS were aware of the provision of the law that guaranteed that.
He added that the principles for joinder of a party, seeking to be joined, must be a necessary party that has shown that its interest, legally and financially, would be affected.
While Onigbanjo explained that the case of joinder sought was to prevent multiplicity of action, counsel to the Rivers State government, Ifedayo Adedipe, supported the application by the Lagos State government.
The counsel to the FIRS, Mahmoud Magaji, meanwhile, opposed the application for joinder while relying on Section 243 of the Constitution.
He stated that the Constitution does not support applications for joinder and Lagos State was not a party to the suit at the trial court.