AKIRS seals off Eco Bank, Union Bank over Tax Evasion
By Ekemini Simon
The Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service, AKIRS has sealed off all Eco Bank and Union Bank branches over unpaid taxes running into millions of naira.
The zonal offices of both banks were sealed off today, Friday after the State government Agency had acquired an exparte order tagged ” Notice of distrain ” from the Akwa Ibom State High Court, Uyo Division ordering that access to the premises and their facilities be restricted.
The Notice reads that the organizations served ” have not been remitting the actual tax deductible from its employees’ salaries and other relevant taxes due to the State; hence failed to comply with the provisions of relevant tax laws.”
According to the Executive Director, Enforcement and Recovery, AKIRS, Mr Leo Umanah, the Board had written to the banks on several occasions inviting them for reconciliation and negotiations.
He pointed out that since they have refuse to reply or avail themselves for reconciliation and negotiations over a long period of time given them, AKIRS is left with no choice but get exparte order in order to recover State Government revenue.
The Executive Director, Enforcement and Recovery stressed that by the seal off, all branches of Eco Bank and Union Bank in the State are expected to comply with the Court Order else face appropriate sanctions.
Mr Umanah noted that for the banks which have been served notice of distrain, under the law, they have 14 days to negotiate with AKIRS and vacate the order. He added ” 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.”
Mr Umanah offered insight to the fact that already, 200 business outfits have evaded State government taxes in sum running into billions of naira.
He insisted that in the ongoing enforcement drive of AKIRS, the tax Authority is poised on recovering State government revenue thus help the state government realize its completion agenda.