The Abuja Court of Appeal has on Friday ordered parties to the Value Added Tax (VAT) collection dispute to “maintain status quo ante bellum.”

The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, had in a judgment declared that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) had no constitutional backing to collect VAT in the state, thereby clothing the Rivers government with the power to do so.

However, the federal revenue agency was dissatisfied with the trial court’s verdict, and subsequently approached the Court of Appeal to stay execution of the decision.

A three-member panel of the appellate court, ruling on the application, ordered the parties to “maintain status quo ante bellum.”

Haruna Tsanami, the judge who delivered the lead ruling of the panel, held that since parties had submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the court for adjudication on the issue, they must not do anything that will destroy the subject matter of the appeal.

The suit was then fixed for 16 September, 2021, for hearing of an application by the Lagos State government to join the suit.

Click here to download the order

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