The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, on Friday, ordered both Rivers and Lagos States to maintain status quo with respect to the the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT), pending the determination of an appeal that was lodged before it by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)

The appellate court said the order was to preserve the ‘Res’ (subject matter) of the appeal before it.

The appellate court specifically ordered all the parties that have subjected themselves before it to “refrain from taking any action to give effect to the judgement of the Rivers State High Court”, which gave Rivers State Government the right to collect VAT revenue, instead of the FIRS.

A three-man panel of Justices of the appellate court led by Justice Haruna Tsammani made the order after it deferred hearing of an application Lagos State filed to be joined as an interested party in the matter, till September 16.

Lagos which had applied, without success to be joined in the Rivers appeal, had through its Attorney-General, Moyosore Onibanjo (SAN) protested against the issuance of an order for the maintenance of status quo, insisting that such order could not be binding on it, since it was yet to be joined as a party in the appeal by FIRS.