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    VAT: we may go to Supreme Court, says Fed. Govt

    The Federal Government is considering heading to the Supreme Court for its clarification on who is legally empowered to collect the Value Added Tax (VAT).

    It also explained that it was not siding herdsmen against Southern governors in their resolve to ban Open Grazing in their respective states.

    Attorney General of the Federation and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami(SAN) stated this after the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja yesterday.

    On VAT, Malami said: “There were certain judgments obtained by some state governors before their respective state High Courts, and arising from those judgments and the laws that were passed by those state governments, the Federal Government filed an appeal against the judgment challenging the laws that were put in place, which I feel has been determined by the Court of Appeal.

    “The Court of Appeal has granted an order of stay of execution, directing these state governments to maintain status quo pending the determination of the main appeal and these matters are being considered for determination.

    “The Federal Government is looking at all options at its disposal, inclusive of the possibility of invoking the jurisdiction, the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, taking into consideration that the dispute at hand is a dispute between the states and the Federal Government, in respect of which only the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to entertain, taking into consideration, the constitutional provisions relating thereto. So, this is the position we are as far as contention among the parties relating to VAT is concerned.”

    Asked by reporters if he was not bordered that the positions his office expressed on VAT and open grazing laws would influence the course of justice, the minister replied: “ On the issue of farmer/ herder clashes, no position was taken by the Office of the Attorney General outside the scope of the constitutional provisions.

    “The position of the office is about freedom and liberty of movement among others….And what the Office of the Attorney General has simply succeeded in doing is making a reference to relevant constitutional provisions and established a position that each and every Nigerian is entitled to freedom of movement. “

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