The Akwa Ibom State Government’s Internal Revenue Service has sealed three banks for allegedly failing to return N228 million in unpaid taxes to the state government.
Following an order of Notice of Distrain from the Akwa Ibom State High Court, Eket Judicial Division, the banks were closed on Thursday during an exercise undertaken by the revenue board’s Enforcement and Recovery Department.
Keystone Bank branches on Abak Road and Ikot Ekpene Road in Uyo were hit, as was Heritage Bank on Aka Road in Uyo.
Leo Umana, the board’s Executive Director, Enforcement and Recovery, told the media in Uyo that Heritage Bank failed to pay N100,270,910 in tax obligations to the state, while Keystone Bank declined to pay N128,413,882 in tax duties to the state government.
“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,” the governor added.
Umana stated that the banks were sent warning notifications but failed to comply after many months, adding that the Akwa Ibom IRS had explored reconciliation and negotiating options with the financial institutions before taking legal action.
He claims that under the law, banks that are served with a notice to distrain have 14 days to negotiate with AKIRS and have the ruling vacated.