The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, has stopped the Rivers State government from collectting Value Added Tax (VAT), until the appeal against the judgement of a High Court in Rivers state is heard and determined.
Recall that about two weeks ago, a State High Court in Rivers State had declared as illegal the collection of VAT in the state by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
At the appeal court on Friday, the appellate court ordered that the judgment of the state high court from which the state drew authorities to collect the tax must not be implemented.
Justice Haruna Simon Tsanami, who issued the order in Abuja, also directed that the law passed by Rivers State House of Assembly and assented to by Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, must not be implemented.
The appellate court held that since parties have submitted themselves to the authorities of the court for adjudication of the matter, they must not do anything that Will destroy the subject matter of the appeal.
In specific term, Justice Tsanami granted status quo ante below in favour of FIRS, and against the respondents.
The matter has been slated for September 16 for hearing of motion for joinder by Lagos State government
FIRS, in an appeal marked CA/PH/282/2021, is praying the court to set aside the judgment of a Rivers State High Court which granted power to the state to collect VAT.
The tax collection agency is also asking the appellate court to stay the execution of Rivers State Hight Court judgment.