Court of Appeal holds Rivers and Lagos States on VAT collection orders maintenance of status quo.

The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja on Friday ordered all parties in the controversial Value Added Tax (VAT) imbroglio to maintain status quo and refrain from taking action that would give effect to the judgment of a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt that allowed the Rivers State government to collect Value Added Tax (VAT).

A three-man panel of the appellate court led by Justice Haruna Tsammani gave the order on Friday while ruling on an appeal filed by the Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS).

The court also ruled that the motion of joinder by the Lagos State government be heard and gave the applicants two days to file their written addresses.

Similarly, the respondents have been given two days to file their response, while the applicants were given a day to reply on the point of law.

A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt had given Rivers State the nod to collect VAT and Governor Nyesom Wike swung into action warning companies to comply or relocate.

Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday passed a bill for the state which is the largest contributor of VAT in the federation to pocket it’s VAT.

Northern States had tumbled over themselves that they would starve to death if the status quo is not maintained as the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello pleaded that Lagos and Rivers States should be their brothers’ keepers.

But the argument remains that why should the north which destroys alcohol receive VAT on same products from Southern states as it smarts of immorality, deceit and lack of integrity.

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