About a month after a High Court in Rivers state declared as illegal, the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) by the federal government, some Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) have backed the decisions of some states to begin the implementation of the judgment.
Already, Lagos State government has said it will begin the implementation of the judgment.
One of the defendants in the case, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has however vowed to appeal the judgement.
In an interview with LEADERSHIP, a professor of law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Awa Kalu, said once a judgement is delivered, it can be implemented immediately until it is set aside by a higher court.
According to him, an appeal is not automatically a stay of execution of judgment.
Kalu said, ‘’Once a judgement is delivered, it can be implemented immediately until the Appeal Court says otherwise. An appeal is not automatically a stay of judgement. The judgement of a court is presumed correct until it is set aside.’’
Another senior advocate, Chief Oba Maduabuchi, agreed with the submission of the law professor.
He said even if a motion for stay of execution of the judgment is filed, it is still at the discretion of the judge to grant it.
According to him, it is not automatic that it will be granted.
He said, ‘’Since it is a court judgement, you are bound to obey it until a higher court says it is wrong. Even, if you file a motion for stay, it is only at the discretion of the court to tell parties to wait until the appeal before it is determined. Ordinarily, once a judgment is delivered, it becomes binding and it must be given effect to,’’ he said.