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S/Court shifts validity of VAT Act 2004 case to 2010

By Ise-Oluwa Ige & Ikechukwu Nnochiri

ABUJA — The Supreme Court yesterday shifted till February 4, next year, full blown hearing in a constitutional suit instituted by THE Lagos State Government challenging the validity of the Value Added Tax Act 2004.

The decision followed a request by Lagos to amend its originating processes in the case.

Justice George Adesola Oguntade presided over the seven-member panel of the apex court that heard the case yesterday. From all indications, he will not be among the justices of the court that will eventually decide the case, since he would clock the mandatory 70-year retirement age next March.

But the panel headed by him gave nod to request by the Lagos Government and the Federal Government to amend all the processes they had earlier filed in the case.

The case was filed by a team of legal practitioners led by Chief Ebun Sofunde (SAN) and the state’s immediate past Attorney-General, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN).

Specifically, the state invoked the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on the controversial issue of the validity of Value Added Tax Act 2004 on February 25, 2008.

Primarily, it was seeking interpretation of the 1999 Constitution on who has powers between it and the Federal Government to enact laws with regard to imposition and collection of tax on the supply of all goods and services within the state.

The suit is seeking to invalidate the Value Added Tax Act 2004, which empowers the Federal Government to impose levy on all sales and supply of goods and services in the federation, with the tax collected, shared amongst all the states of the federation.


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