FG may head to Supreme Court over VAT war – Malami

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By Chibuike Nwabuko

Published 2 hours ago on September 24, 2021

Abuja – Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the Federal government head to Supreme Court VAT dispute with States.

He.said the Federal Government was trying to find a lasting solution to the legal dispute between the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the States, on the Value Added Tax (TAX), but says if the contention continue, the FG go to Supreme Court.

Malami disclosed this while speaking with reporters in on Wednesday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in the United States.

He was quoted to have said that a situation where there was legal dispute between the Federal government and the States, was the Supreme Court that has jurisdiction to determine the case.

Recall that Justice Stephen Pam of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt ruled in favour of Rivers State government stating that has powers to collect Value Added Tax (VAT).

The judgement came to the Federal Inland Revenue Service as a shock and the agency filed an appeal to maintain status quo which was granted pending the determination of the substantive suit whether the State or Federal government through its agencies should continue to collect VAT.

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike following the earlier High Court judgement signed Rivers VAT bill into law to effect a legal backing.

The FIRS which is the Federal government’s agency saddled with the responsibility of generating revenue into government coffers which is saddened by the development, has been able to get a stay of execution and vowed to upturn the High Court judgement.

Malami added: “And we are taking steps to consider the possibility of instituting an action before the Supreme Court for the purpose of having this matter determined once and for all.”