Akwa Ibom Government Seals Banks for Alleged Tax Evasion Totaling N228m By Chris Moffat

The Akwa Ibom State Government, acting through its Internal Revenue Service, has taken decisive action by sealing three banks accused of failing to remit outstanding tax debts amounting to N228 million to the state.

The closure of these financial institutions occurred on Thursday, following the enforcement of a Notice of Distrain order issued by the Akwa Ibom State High Court, Eket Judicial Division. The affected banks include two branches of Keystone Bank located at Abak Road and Ikot Ekpene Road, Uyo, and Heritage Bank situated at Aka Road, Uyo.

In a press briefing held in Uyo, the Executive Director of the Revenue Board’s Enforcement and Recovery Department, Leo Umana, disclosed that Heritage Bank had neglected to remit N100,270,910 in tax liabilities to the state, while Keystone Bank had failed to pay N128,413,882 owed to the state government as tax liabilities.

Umana conveyed that if the banks do not comply within 14 days, the state has the court’s mandate to sell the property and recover the owed taxes. He further explained that the banks had received warning notices but had not complied over several months. The Akwa Ibom Internal Revenue Service had exhausted all avenues of reconciliation and negotiation with the financial institutions before resorting to legal action.

Under the law, banks served with a notice of distraint have a 14-day window to engage in negotiations with the Akwa Ibom Internal Revenue Service and vacate the order.

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