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Makinde Set To Join Rivers, Lagos in VAT suit

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State is set to join the River State Government and Lagos State in a suit instituted asking the court to grant the state the power to take over the collection of the Value Added Tax (VAT) from the Federal Government.

The suit, filed by the Attorney-General of Oyo State, Prof. 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 Oyo State government is seeking two orders, namely: an order of the 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 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, being one of the states which the judgment of the lower court recognised as entitled to collect VAT within its territorial jurisdiction.

Oyo State government also indicated that the applicant (Attorney-General of the state) “represents the interest of the Oyo State government, whose interest in the collection of Value Added Tax within Oyo State will be impacted one way or another by any judgment delivered by this  Court in this Appeal.”

The Oyo State government also said, “The applicant is a necessary party to this suit being a party who will be bound by the judgment of this court in this appeal.

“The interests of the applicant and that of the respondent, in this case, are similar, being states within the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

In a 12-paragraph affidavit in support of the motion, which was filed by the Director of Civil Litigation in the chambers of the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Ministry of Justice, Oyo State, Olatunji Thomas, the Oyo State government said that it would be in the interest of justice that the court should grant the application.

It stated that the state, being one of the 36 states of Nigeria, it would be affected by the decision of the appellate court, adding that joining the state to the suit already instituted by Rivers State would help to avoid multiplicity of suits by the states against the Federal government.

In a motion on notice also attached to the proceedings already filed before the court, Oyo State said it relied on eight grounds.

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