Connect with us


FG-Rivers’ VAT suit’ll strengthen rule of law –Wike



Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has said the historic legal battle between the Rivers State Government and the Federal Inland Revenue Service with respect to Value Added Tax will prove whether the country respects the rule of law or not.

The governor said the decision of the state government to seek judicial interpretation on VAT collection was aimed at strengthening the rule of law and Nigeria’s democracy.

Wike stated this when the Managing Director of BusinessDay newspaper, Dr Ogho Okiti, led a delegation to present a letter of nomination to him as the ‘BusinessDay Most Impactful Governor Award’ at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Monday.

The governor in a statement issued by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, said the award conferred on him was for the entire people of Rivers State.

He stated that besides implementation of physical projects in the state, another project that was dear to him was making sure that the rule of law was respected and applied in the country.

According to him, when the legal issue on VAT collection between the Rivers State Government and FIRS came up, some people had accused him of trying to divide the country, even when they had not bothered to take a look at the 1999 constitutional provisions regarding the collection of VAT.

He said, “I am happy today that the Attorney General (of the Federation) has gone to the Supreme Court to sue Rivers State Government over VAT. Now, that Attorney General has gone to court, we are happy.

“But, nobody wants to talk about him dividing the country. It is only when Rivers State government goes to court that they will say we want to divide the country.

“There is nothing wrong in interpreting the law. The judiciary has been given assignment and they took oath of office to interpret the law.

“If you don’t go to court, how will we know the position of the law?  How will democracy thrive? How will we know that this country respects rule of law?”

The governor revealed that even the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, was among those that commended him for approaching the court over the VAT matter.

Wike recalled that during the just concluded Nigerian Bar Association annual conference, Enang also commended his administration for implementing full autonomy for the state judiciary.

The Rivers State governor said it was however baffling that the same presidential aide could turn round to accuse him of treating judges badly in the state.

He reiterated that the Rivers State government would not succumb to any committee set up by the Federal Government on autonomy of state judiciary.

According to him, such committee is unnecessary since the 1999 Constitution explicitly guarantees the independence of the judiciary.

Wike noted though the Federal Government tend to profess it supported autonomy of the judiciary, but in reality, it had deliberately stifled that arm of government.

“Fake autonomy which they are brandishing for the judiciary is not true. If the judiciary has autonomy, go and check the status of the federal courts. If judiciary has autonomy, would they have invaded the house of justice of the Supreme Court?”

The Rivers State governor said the award would spur his administration to do more for the people of the state.

All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.

Contact: [email protected]

Copyright PUNCH.

All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.

Contact: [email protected]

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Local15 hours ago

Kaduna to enroll secondary school students into its health insurance scheme: Official

News19 hours ago

Sound Sultan’s brother exposes scammer who hacked late singer’s Instagram account

Local15 hours ago

VAT declines by N11.76 billion as CIT receives boost in Q3: NBS

News15 hours ago

UBTH boss condemns attack on health workers by patients’ relatives

World16 hours ago

How the Associated Press Covered Israeli President Herzog’s Candle-Lighting in Hebron

Politics16 hours ago

Akeredolu calls for funding of private universities through TETFund grants

Entertainment21 hours ago

Man shares his kids heartwarming reaction when he told them he didn’t have money to buy the drink they wanted

Politics15 hours ago

Okowa, IYC call for justice, investigation into death of Dowen College student

News16 hours ago

FCT PDP endorses Saraki’s 2023 Presidential bid

Local11 hours ago

70 million mobile owners in Nigeria have no bank accounts: eTranzact

Entertainment21 hours ago

“I used to dream of living in a big house, but now I’m scared of the one I live in” – BBNaija star, Tacha laments

Health10 hours ago

Want a Lean Body For Good? Eat These 8 Foods Every Day

World10 hours ago

UK: Muslims produce ‘large amount of money,’ offer to buy woman’s daughter

Local14 hours ago

Lawyer petitions IGP to investigate firm, two individuals for forging Supreme Court judgment

News16 hours ago

Tonto Dikeh calls for commemoration of Sylvester’s 12th birthday at Dowen College premises

World18 hours ago

UK and Israel pledge to ‘work day and night’ to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons

World15 hours ago

CAIR’s Nihad Awad declares Tel Aviv ‘occupied,’ prays for its ‘liberation’

World13 hours ago

Pakistan drops ban on jihad group that is targeting non-Muslims over Muhammad cartoons, even in the West

Politics15 hours ago

Justice Babalakin laid to rest amid tributes

World10 hours ago

Debate Video: Is Islam More Violent than Christianity? Dr. Javad T. Hashmi vs. Robert Spencer