Judiciary

Oyo State Government Seeks To Join VAT Appeal Suit

Oyo State Government wants 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 in respect to the bid by the state 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, viz: an order of the Honourable 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.

According to the Attorney-General of Oyo State, the government of Oyo State was unaware of the suit between the Attorney-General of Rivers State and the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, at the Federal High Court until the judgment was delivered.

Other grounds upon which the application was based include, that the decision of the Appellate Court will affect the collection of VAT by the government of Oyo State is one of the states which the judgment of the lower court recognised as entitled to collect VAT within its territorial jurisdiction.

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 Honourable Court in this Appeal.

In a motion on notice also attached to the proceedings already filed before the court, Oyo State said it relied on eight grounds and declared that the state is a necessary party to be joined since it has sufficient interest in the outcome of the appeal.

The state further argued that after going through its processes, the Appellate Court will find that the application is necessary and that it has sufficient interest in the determination of the appeal as one of the states of the Federation.

It quoted several legal authorities and concluded thus: “We, therefore, urge the honourable 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”.

Iyabo Adebisi

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