Court restrains Lagos government from enforcing its hotel tax law

Governor Ambode of Lagos State
Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode and his government has been restrained from enforcing the provisions of the administration’s new Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant (Fiscalisation) Regulations 2017. The directive came from Justice Rilwan Aikawa of a Federal High Court sitting at Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria.
The law brought about the introduction of a five per cent consumption tax and imposed a five per cent Value Added Tax on every purchase or service rendered by hotels, restaurants, fast food outlets, event centres, bars and night clubs.
However, in a ruling delivered on March 21, 2018, Justice Aikawa held that the law would remain suspended until the final determination of a suit instituted against the state government by the Registered Trustees of Hotel Owners and Managers Association of Lagos.
Justice Aikawa further struck out the Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Law Cap H8, Laws of Lagos State 2015.
The court specifically stopped the Lagos government from enforcing or implementing paragraphs 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 11 of the Lagos State Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant (Fiscalisation) Regulations 2017.
The judge further stopped the state government, and its agents from visiting the plaintiffs hotels, “For the purpose of installing fiscal electronic device and any other purposes whatsoever in furtherance of the law and the regulations.”
The order of Justice Aikawa came sequel to an ex parte application brought before him by the association of hotel owners in Lagos through their lawyer, Olasupo Shasore (SAN).
Shasore had urged the judge to stop the state and its agents from visiting his clients “between March 1 and March 10, 2018 or any other period before or thereafter,” pending the hearing and determination of his clients’ motion on notice dated March 7, 2018.
The matter has been adjourned until April 17, 2018 for hearing of the plaintiffs’ motion on notice.