Abia govt seals bank premises, prosecutes levy, tax defaulters | NN NEWS

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The Abia State Government, at the weekend, sealed the premises of some banks, including First and Access banks on the orders of the state revenue court.

The Abia State Board of Internal Revenue (ASBIR) had taken several levies and tax defaulters to the state Revenue Court to recover the alleged outstanding unpaid levies in accordance with provisions of the extant state basic environment law provisions.

Customers of the sealed banks have consequently been denied access to banking services, which results in risking their business transactions in cash.

A bank customer, who said he sells petroleum products in Aba and thus generates a lot of cash, suspended cash sales for the electronic alternative.

The court had ordered that the sealed premises would subsist perhaps until the levies and taxes, which the victims failed to pay, were fully paid.

In the case of Access Bank, Justice Chido Nwakanma of the state revenue court sitting in Umuahia on January 20, 2022, ordered that the bank’s premises in the state be sealed off.

Justice Nwakanma gave the order on January 20, 2022, while delivering judgment on the suit marked: Hu/173/2020 filed by the Abia State Government against the bank over non-payment of N182 million only in respect of the infrastructure development levy, fees for sensitive devices it deployed, fees for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for Mast Base deployed in the state including the penalty and interest from 2011 to 2019.

According to the Court, the Order is made for a warrant of distress against the Bank premises in Abia State or any other place in Nigeria for failure to pay the sum of money owed to the government.

The court also ordered that the warrant of distress against the defendants should subsist until the said amount owed by the banks is fully paid, just as Acting Chairman of the Internal Revenue Board, Celestine Agbara, said the scenario was a consequence of the court order. (The Guardian)

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