The Oyo government has filed an application before the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal seeking to be joined as a respondent in an appeal filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) over value-added tax.
Oyelowo Oyewo, Oyo’s attorney general, in his submission noted that Oyo and other states in Nigeria had attempted to enact their VAT laws following the judgment of the Rivers court.
He sought an order of the court to be joined as a respondent to the suit as Oyo will be affected by the appellate court’s decision on VAT.
“An order of the honourable court joining the attorney-general of Oyo state as a respondent on the appeal with suit number FHC/PH/CS/149/2020 and appeal number CA/PH/282/2021, and any other order the court may deem fit,” the court document stated.
Mr Oyewo said Oyo had an interest in the suit, arguing that joining the Oyo government in the case will prevent the multiplicity of suits over the VAT crisis.
“We, therefore, urge the honourable court to resolve the sole issue raised in this application in favour of the applicant and hold that the applicant is a proper, desirable and necessary party to be joined in this appeal,” Mr Oyewo said.
On September 16, the appellate court reserved a ruling on Lagos’ motion on notice to join as a respondent in the suit filed by FIRS.
FIRS had prayed the court to discountenance the application of the Lagos government.
On September 10, the appellate court ordered Rivers and Lagos authorities to stop collecting VAT pending determination of the application filed by the FIRS.
Following the order, Rivers approached the Supreme Court demanding that the matter be heard by a new panel.
The FIRS had in an appeal marked CA/PH/282/2021 sought an injunction pending appeal and a stay of execution of the Rivers court judgment on VAT collection.
Peoples gazette reported that a Rivers Division of the Federal High Court, in a suit marked FHC/PH/CS/149/2020, declared VAT collection by the federal government of Nigeria unconstitutional.