The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has ordered both Rivers and Lagos States to refrain from any action giving effect to the August 9, 2021 judgement of Rivers State High Court, which conferred powers on Rivers State to collect Value Added Tax (VAT) and Personal Income,pending the determination of an appeal filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
The court gave the ruling on Friday, ordering parties to maintain the “status quo ante bellum(to maintain the situation as it existed before).”
A three-member panel of justices of the appellate court led by Haruna Tsammani said the order was to preserve the ‘Res’ (subject matter) of the appeal before it.
The court specifically ordered all the parties in the suit to”refrain from taking any action to give effect to the judgement of the Rivers State High Court.”
Earlier, Attorney-General of Lagos State , Moyosore Onigbanjo, informed the court of an application by the state government to join as a party in the appeal.
But the Appeal Court deferred the hearing of Lagos State application for joinder to September 16.
However, Onibanjo, protested against the issuance of the order to maintain status quo, insisting that such an order could not be binding on Lagos State since it is yet to be joined as a party in the appeal by FIRS.