By The Evangelist News edition, Thursday, October 25, 2023. Admin.
The Akwa Ibom Internal Revenue Service (AKIRS) has shut three banks in the state over failure to remit outstanding tax liabilities of N228,684 million to the State Government.
The Enforcement and Recovery Department, AKIRS, which embarked on the enforcement drive in the early hours of Thursday, sealed off two Keystone Bank branches at Abak Road and Ikot Ekpene Road in Uyo, as well as Heritage Bank located at Aka Road, Uyo.
The action followed an order of Notice of Distrain from the Akwa Ibom State High Court, Eket Judicial Division.
The Warrant of Distrain earlier received from the High Court of Akwa Ibom in the Eket Judicial Division signed by Honourable Justice Effiong Effiong had ordered access to the bank premises and its facilities be restricted.
It reads, “A Warrant of Distrain is hereby issued upon any land, premises or place of business in respect of which the Respondent is the owner or occupier at 39 Abak Road, Uyo Akwa Ibom State in satisfaction of outstanding Tax liability of N128, 413, 882.20 (One Hundred and Twenty-Eight Million, Four Hundred and Thirteen Thousand and Eighty Two Naira, Twenty Kobo) established against the Respondent.”
Speaking to newsmen later, the Executive Director, Enforcement and Recovery, AKIRS, Mr. Leo Umana, said Heritage Bank has failed to remit its N100,270,910 tax liabilities to the State while Keystone Bank tax liabilities run into N128,413,882.
The Executive Director said AKIRS had given warning notices and exhausted reconciliation and negotiation opportunities with the organizations hence the action.
Umana noted that since the banks have refused to remit taxes accruing to the state despite the long period of time given them, AKIRS is left with no choice but get ex parte order in order to recover State Government revenue.
The Director recalled that the banks, which are served the Notice of Distrain, under the law, have 14 days to negotiate with AKIRS to vacate the order.
“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 that in the ongoing enforcement drive of AKIRS, the Agency is poised to recovering State government revenue to help the state government in realising its ARISE agenda.