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Business News of Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Source: punchng.com

VAT: Uncertainty over Supreme Court hearing of Rivers, Lagos case

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Seven days after the Rivers State Government dragged the Federal Inland Service before the Supreme Court challenging the order by the Court of Appeal directing parties to maintain status quo in the Value Added Tax dispute, there is uncertainty over when the apex court will sit on the matter.

This is despite the urgency of the matter as some firms are already complaining of not knowing where to remit this month’s VAT between states and the Federal Government.

The appeal filed by the Attorney General of Rivers State was dated September 13.

Investigations by The PUNCH revealed that the appeal had not been listed for this week at the apex court.

As of the time of filing this report, it was also unclear if the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, had constituted the panel to hear and determine the appeal.

The media aide to the CJN, Ahuraka Isah, in an interview with our correspondent on Tuesday, confirmed that the matter had not been listed for hearing for the week.

“The matter was not listed for hearing this week so I cannot find out whether the panel has been constituted or not,” he said.

“In such controversial matters as this, sometimes it is even on the day of hearing the appeal that some judges will know that they are on the panel.

“For now, there is no information on the constitution of the panel,” he added.

Recall that Court of Appeal on September 10 ordered the parties in the VAT dispute to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the application for stay of execution by the FIRS.

The FIRS had rushed to the Appeal Court challenging the decision of the Federal High Court Port Harcourt which had on August 9 declared that it was the Rivers State Government and not FIRS that should collect VAT and Personal Income Tax in the state.

Following the order to maintain status quo, the Rivers State Government had approached the apex court praying to set aside the order of the Appeal Court.