The Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt will resume hearing on the appeal filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service against the Rivers State Government over the collection of value-added tax and personal income tax.
Emmanuel Ukala, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and lawyer representing Rivers State, confirmed to TheCable on Saturday that the case will come up on May 9, 2022.
According to a senior court official, respective parties to the suit have been asked to submit written applications ahead of the sitting.
The issue of VAT collection had generated a legal battle between FIRS and some state governments.
Rivers and Lagos state governments had enacted laws and called for decentralisation of collection, while some states pushed for centralised collection.
In August 2021, a Federal High Court issued an order restraining FIRS from collecting VAT and Personal Income Tax — directing the Rivers State Government to take charge of the collection.
The landmark judgment also implies that other state governments could follow and collect VAT in their jurisdictions.
Following the judgment, the FIRS had filed an appeal on the issue.
Not too long after, on September 10, 2021, the Lagos State Government applied to the Court of Appeal in Abuja to be joined as a co-respondent in the appeal filed by FIRS — a request later granted on September 30, 2021.
The Oyo State Government had also applied to be joined as a respondent.
However, the Court of Appeal ordered both Rivers and Lagos states to maintain status quo pending the determination of an appeal filed by the FIRS.
But the Rivers State Government asked the Supreme Court to set aside the order of the Court of Appeal.
The matter is still in court.