APP drags Buhari, Ahmed to court over VAT

An opposition political party, Action Peoples Party (APP) and its national Chairman, Ikenga Ugochinyere, have filed a suit against President Muhammadu Buhari over the increase in the chargeable tax rate of the Value Added Tax (VAT).

Specifically, the plaintiffs urged the Abuja division of the Federal High Court to set aside the 7.5 per cent increment, amendment, variation described in the chargeable tax rate of the VAT as it relates to the supply and consumption of goods and services in Nigeria.

They are equally pressing for an order of the court restraining the defendants or their agents and privies from further implementing or in any manner, howsoever, carrying out or giving effect to  the 7.5  per cent increment, amendment, variation or howsoever described in the chargeable tax rate of the VAT as it relates to the supply and consumption of goods and services in Nigeria.

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Other defendants listed in the suit are the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the Federal Inland Revenue Service(FIRS) and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).

In the suit which has been assigned to Justice Inyang Ekwo for adjudication, the plaintiffs posed three questions for determination as follows “whether having regard to the combined effect of sections 1, 4 and 38 of the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act and section 4(1) of the 1999 constitution, the defendants have powers to unilaterally amend or override any provision of the VAT Act as it relates to the imposition of chargeable tax rate without going through the National Assembly for an amendment of the relevant provisions thereof or the issuance of an Executive Order to that effect.

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“Whether having regard to the combined effect of sections 1, 4 and 38 of the Value Added Tax Act, the act or conduct of the defendants in unilaterally amending, varying, modifying or increasing the chargeable tax rate of the Value Added Tax as it relates to the supply and consumption of goods and services in Nigeria to 7.5 per cent without following due process of law is not null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

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