Rivers State Government, through its Attorney- General, has gone to the Supreme Court to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal that ordered it to maintain the status quo on the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) pending the determination of an appeal that was lodged by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). The state, in its nine grounds of appeal, a copy of which was sighted by New Telegraph last night, is praying the apex court to order that the substantive appeal by the FIRS, marked CA/PH/282/2021, and all other processes therein, be heard and determined by a new panel of the Court of Appeal.
Aside from the FIRS, the Attorney-General of the Federation was cited as Respondents in the appeal that Rivers State entered through its team of lawyers led by Emmanuel Ukala (SAN). The notice of appeal reads in part: “TAKE NOTICE that the Appellant being dissatisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeal Abuja Division in APPEAL NO.: CA/ PH/282/2021, Federal Inland Revenue Service v. Attorney General of Rivers State and Attorney General of the Federation more particularly stated in Paragraph 2 contained in the Ruling of the same Court delivered on the 10th day of September 2021 doth hereby appeal to the Supreme Court upon the grounds set out in Paragraph 3 and will at the hearing seek the reliefs set out in Paragraph 4. And the Appellant further states that the names and addresses of the persons directly affected by the appeal are those set out in Paragraph 5”.
Part of the decision of the lower court complained of the whole decision directing the parties to maintain the status quo that is to restore the parties to the status quo that existed before the judgment of the Federal High Court.
In the particulars of misdirection, the appellant among others submitted that the learned Justices, after taking arguments from all parties before them, had earlier ruled that the Motion on Notice for joinder filed by the Attorney- General of Lagos State ought to be taken first in order for Lagos State to be bound by their decision in the First Respondent’s motion for stay and injunction pending appeal.