The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the governments of Adamawa, Plateau, and Kaduna states are set to join the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in its appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt that empowered Rivers State to collect Value Added Tax (VAT).
The trial court had in the judgement ruled against the FIRS in the tax collection tussle and ordered that the Rivers State Government was the rightful collector of the tax among others.
The FIRS had challenged the judgment at the Court of Appeal seeking that the High court’s verdict be set aside.
However, sources close to the AGF at the weekend, disclosed that the three states would file a leave of the court to be joined in the suit on Tuesday.
Although the AGF is already a defendant in the appeal, the source hinted that the Federal Ministry of Justice, under the AGF has opted to be part of the appellant in the matter so as to enable it to argue effectively in support of the FIRS.
“They are going to seek to be joined in the suit as co-appellants against the federal high court’s judgment that favours Rivers State.
“These states understand the possible consequences if the final judgment at the Supreme Court goes against the FIRS. They are going to take the fight as if it is theirs,” the source stated.
The source also added that more states, especially Kogi and Zamfara are going to be joining the suit to form a coalition with the FIRS.
However, Dr Jibrill Umar Gwandu, Senior Special Assistant to the AGF, Abubakar Malami (SAN) could not be reached for comment at the time of filing this report.
The decision of the three states is coming on the heels of the communique released by the Northern State Governors’ Forum last week where they expressed dissent and disagreement with the VAT laws of Lagos and Rivers states.