All the zonal offices of Ecobank and Union Bank in Akwa Ibom State have been sealed off for allegedly evading taxes.
The action was carried out by officials of Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service (AKIRS) on Friday.
Policemen attached to the Service ensured compliance in the zonal offices of the banks.
It was learned that the Service got an exparte order from Akwa Ibom State High Court, Uyo Division, directing that the premises be sealed off over debts running into millions of naira.
Executive Director, Enforcement and Recovery of the Service, Mr Leo Umanah, accused the banks of ignoring letters written to them in respect of the debts, saying they have not been remitting the actual tax deductible from their employees’ salaries and other relevant taxes due to the state; hence, failed to comply with the provisions of relevant tax laws.”
He declared that by the order, all branches of the banks were affected,noting: “The banks have 14 days to negotiate with us to vacate the order. After 14 days of non-compliance, we have the mandate of the court to sell the property and recover the tax owed the state”.
Lamenting that more than 200 business outfits are evading taxes running into billions of naira, Umanah declared that “with the ongoing enforcement drive, we are determined to recover all outstanding revenues that would help our state government complete projects”.