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Akwa Ibom Govt Seals GTB Branches Over Alleged Tax Default

Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service, AKIRS, on Monday sealed two branches of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) in Uyo, the state capital over alleged tax default estimated at over N184 million.

A news report sourced from News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) indicated that branches were sealed on the order by the AKIRS’ Executive Director Enforcement and Recovery, Mr. Leo Umanah, who lead the team on the clampdown operations

Umanah told journalists that the two branches were located on Udo Udoma Street and Abak Road, adding that AKIRS has secured an ex parte order from the state High Court, Uyo Division, restricting access to the premises of the bank and its facilities.

The tax administrator confirmed that the order was issued by Hon. Justice Imeh Umanah.

Umanah recalled that the two branches were given warning notice on February 4 this year that they had not been remitting the actual tax deducted from their employees’ salaries and other relevant taxes due the state, thereby failing to comply with the provisions of relevant tax laws.

He said that the bank had taken AKIRS to court in Uyo, Port Harcourt and Benin City over the tax remittance but the cases were struck out in favour of the revenue agency.

The director said that the agency had exhausted reconciliation and negotiation opportunities with the bank and was left with no other option than to get an ex parte order to recover the government revenue.

According to him, the bank was served the notice of distrain and under the law, they had 14 days to negotiate with AKIRS and vacate the order.

Umanah maintained that “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.”

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