The Court of Appeal on Thursday declined to accede to the request of Rivers and Lagos States for the appointment of Receiver or Manager for the purpose of collecting and keeping Value Added Taxes (VAT) in place of the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) pending the resolution of all legal disputes in the matter.
The two states separately canvassed that the order of status quo ante belum granted on September 10 in favour of FIRS to continue the collection be put on hold given the appeal already lodged at the Supreme Court against the order.
Counsel to Rivers State, Ifedayo Adedipe, SAN in his oral application pleaded with the appellate body to exercise its power under Order 4 Rule 6 of the Court of Appeal to appoint a Receiver or Manager to take custody of the VAT in the interest of justice to parties in the matter.
Attorney General of Lagos, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo SAN who stood for his state toed the path of Rivers in canvassing that the court be fair and just in the pending appeal.
Onigbanjo specifically asked the Appeal Court to restrain FIRS from further collecting the tax and replace it with a Receiver or Manager that will act for parties that are locked in the legal battle.
The Lagos Attorney General predicated his expressed fear of unjust treatment on the fact that FIRS apart from collecting the tax has been sharing it among the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory FCT despite the pendency of the legal tussle.
However, the Presiding Justice, Hamma Simon Tsanami asked the two states to make their request formal by puting it in writing.
Meanwhile, the Court has reserved ruling in an application by Lagos State to make it a respondent in the appeal filed by FIRS against a judgement granted in favour of Rivers State by a federal high court in Port Harcourt.
Onigbanjo who moved the application argued that Lagos has vested interest in the Value Added Taxes collection and that the decision of the Court would affect it when delivered.
The Attorney General informed the 3-man panel of Justices that FIRS in its appeal against the federal high judgment made some allegations against it and that it would be in the interest of justice for it to be allowed to join in the appeal to ventilate its defence.
“From the contents of the appellants’ affidavit, Lagos has been made a necessary party in the appeal by some references to it and for it to be bound by the final decision, it is in the interest that it should be allowed to make a defence to allegations against it”
FIRS as the appellant through its counsel, Mahmoud Magaji SAN vehemently opposed the Lagos request to join the suit, adding that the state has not shown how its interest would be jeopardized if not allowed in the matter.
Processes filed by the Attorney General of the Federation AGF Abubakar Malami SAN through his counsel, Tijani Gazali SAN were struck out on the ground of being incompetent having been filed out of time.
After taking arguments from parties, Justice Tsanami reserved ruling, adding that parties would be communicated when the ruling is ready.
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PDP Charges Nigerians On National Rebirth
The Peoples Democratic Party has urged those behind mindless killings and terrorism in Nigeria to have a rethink and retrace their steps.
The party also charged those in authority to redouble their efforts in finding solutions to the challenges facing the country.
This was contained in a statement in which the party felicitated Nigerians as they celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Maulud which marks the birthday of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.
The statement titled, ‘Eid-el Maulud: PDP Felicitates with Nigerians, Urges National Rebirth,’ was signed by the PDP National Publicity, Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan.
It read, “The Peoples Democratic Party urges Nigerians to use the occasion of this year’s Eid-el Maulud for solemn introspection and make commitment towards a rebirth in all areas of national life.
“The party notes that Eid-el Maulud, the celebration of the birth of Holy Prophet Mohammed, presents a providential occasion for our nation to put behind, all issues that cause disunity, disaffection, strife and despondency and move to a new beginning by embracing the virtues of love for one another, tolerance, mutual understanding and forgiveness, in line with the teaching of the Holy Prophet.
“The PDP insists that such is the only way to move the nation forward under the present circumstance.
“Our party urges Nigerians to resist all forces that seek to disunite them for selfish reasons and continue to work together, especially in their determination to chart a new course for our dear nation on the platform of the PDP.
“The PDP also calls on Nigerians to use the occasion to make fervent supplication to God for divine intervention as well as show love by reaching out to one another, especially the less privileged and victims of escalated acts of terrorism in our country.
“The party also urges those behind the mindless killings and acts of terrorism in our country to have a rethink and retrace their steps, while charging those in authority to redouble their efforts in finding solutions to the challenges facing our nation at this critical time.
“The PDP felicitates with Nigerians and wishes them a happy Eid-el Maulud celebration.”
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FG Takes Delivery Of Final Batch Of Tucano Jets
The federal government said it has taken delivery of the final batch of the 12 A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets expected from the United States.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this when he featured on a phone-in television programme “This Morning,’’ monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“All the 12 Super Tucano fighter jets have been received. As at this morning(yesterday), all the 12 were here and they have been deployed to the North-East.
“We can see that the Tucano jets are actually game changer.
“Most of the successes we have recorded in recent time is because of the acquisition of the new platforms, not limited to the super Tucano,’’ he said.
The minister said with the recent notable successes recorded by the military on insecurity, he was amused by a story on Monday that the Nigerian Air Force paid N20 million to bribe bandits so that they would not bring down the president’s aircraft.
“Fortunately, the Air Force immediately debunked this because this exposes their ignorance.
“Between Zamfara, Katsina, parts of Kaduna and Niger states, there are about 150 bandit camps. Who then was the money given to?
“It does not make any sense and it is because they do not understand how bandits operate that is why they can peddle that kind of fake news,’’ he said.
Mohammed said with the improved security situation in the North-east and North-Central Zones the nation would experience improved food security.
“If you observe what is happening of recent, you can see heightened activities in the agricultural area.
“This is because of the superior fire power of the military which is now making it possible for people to go to their farms, especially in the North East.
“They have been able to put the criminals at bay,’’ he said.
The minister gave an assurance that the success of the military against terrorists and bandits would be sustained.
He therefore, solicited the cooperation and support of Nigerians for the sustenance of the military action.
The Nigerian Air Force on July 22 took delivery of the first batch of six of the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from the United States.
The Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF Headquarters, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, who made the announcement, said the aircraft arrived in Kano.
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#EndSARS: Lagos Official To Youths: Protect Public Assets Against Vandalism
Mr Olufunsho Elulade, General Manager, Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory (LSMTL), on Tuesday appealed to youths to protect public infrastructure in their locality against any act of vandalism.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Elulade said that public infrastructure were provided with taxpayers’ money, “so destroying them amount to hurting ourselves”.
Elulade was speaking against the backdrop of the damage done to LSMTL offices in Ojodu during the 2020 #EndSARS protests.
He said that the damage was minimal because some members of the public stopped hoodlums who hijacked the protest from wrecking further havoc on the facility and its operational vehicles.
He said operational vehicles of the Lagos State Public Works Corporation which shared the same compound with LSMTL were razed.
Elulade, a chartered highways and transportation expert who was part of the team that designed the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Lagos, lamented the wanton destruction of the buses and other critical infrastructure.
He said the buses, buildings and other vandalised assets had direct benefits to youths and all other residents of Lagos.
“The youths should know that these BRT buses were bought to ease their movement from point ‘A’ to ‘B’, why would they destroy facilities that bring them comfort?”
Read Also: Anxiety over planned #EndSARS anniversary protests
Elulade urged Lagos residents to make infrastructure protection a collective responsibility.
He said that Lagos population kept growing daily, thus increasing pressure on government to keep improving and upgrading existing infrastructure.
According to him, destruction of assets amounts to slowing down progress for all residents.
He urged the EndSARS campaigners to tread with caution as their demand had been met by Federal Government’s disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in 2020.
The general manager also called for continued education and public sensitisation on the need for collaboration towards building a vibrant state and nation to transform Lagos into a 21st century economy.
NAN reports that the October 2020 #EndSARS protest against police brutality was hijacked leaving horrifying trails in Lagos and some parts of the country. (NAN)
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