Akwa Ibom Govt Seals Two Banks Over Alleged Tax Evasion

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The Akwa Ibom State Government through its Internal Revenue Service has sealed three banks for their alleged failure to remit outstanding tax liabilities of N228m to the state government.
The banks were shut down on Thursday during an exercise conducted by the revenue board’s Enforcement and Recovery Department, following an order of Notice of Distrain from the Akwa Ibom State High Court, Eket Judicial Division.
The affected banks included two Keystone Bank branches, at Abak Road and Ikot Ekpene Road, Uyo, and Heritage Bank, located at Aka Road, Uyo.

Briefing journalists in Uyo, the board’s Executive Director, Enforcement and Recovery, Leo Umana, said Heritage Bank failed to remit its N100,270,910 tax liabilities to the state while Keystone Bank refused to pay N128,413,882 owed to the state government as tax liabilities.
“If, after 14 days, they do not comply, we have the mandate of the court to sell the property and recover the tax owed the state,” he said.

Umana said the banks were given warning notices but failed to comply after several months, adding that the AKIRS had exhausted reconciliation and negotiation opportunities with the financial organisations before resorting to court action.

According to him, under the law, the banks that are served the notice to distrain have 14 days to negotiate with AKIRS and vacate the order.

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