Thursday, December 9, 2021

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VAT War: Oyo seeks to join Rivers’ suit against FG

The Oyo State government has asked the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for joinder in the suit instituted by the Rivers State government against the Attorney-General of the Federation over its bid by to take over the collection of the Value Added Tax (VAT) from the Federal Government.

The suit, instituted by the Attorney-General of Oyo State, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo, is seeking an order of the Appellate Court to enable Oyo State to join the suit as an interested party.

In the suit, the government of Oyo State is seeking two orders, namely: an order of the 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 Oyo AG noted that the government of Oyo State was unaware of the suit between the Attorney-General of Rivers State and the Federal Inland Revenue Service at the Federal High Court until the judgment was delivered.

Oyo State government also indicates that the applicant (Attorney-General of the state) “represents the interest of the Oyo State government, whose interest in the collection of Value Added Tax within Oyo State will be impacted one way or another by any judgment delivered by this  Court in this Appeal.”

The grounds claimed by the Oyo State government include that: “The applicant is a necessary party to this suit being a party who will be bound by the judgment of this court in this appeal.

“The interests of the applicant and that of the respondent, in this case, are similar, being states within the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The Oyo AG quoted several legal authorities and concluded thus: “We, therefore, urge the 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…

“In conclusion, we humbly urge your Lordships to grant this application in the interest of justice and effective determination of the issues before the court.”

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