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Court seals off bank premises over alleged tax default

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Stanbic IBTC Bank

The premises of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc in Aba and Umuahia , were yesterday sealed off on the orders of an Abia State High Court sitting in Umuahia, the state capital over its failure to remit, when it became due, the sum of N9,995,820.18K to the state government.

The figure represents its staff Pay As You Earn (PAYEE) Tax deductions.

The trial judge, Onuoha A.K Ogwe, while delivering judgment dated March 9, 2017, in the suit HC/15/17 between Abia Board of Internal Revenue Service (Claimant) and Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc (Defendant ), ruled that the bank “was duly served with the demand notice for the remittance of the sum N9,995,820,18k, which became due to the Abia State Revenue Service, and the defendant did not make remittance within the time limited by the demand notice”.

“It has been proved on oath that the PAYEE Tax audit and demand notice have been duly served on the defendant aforesaid in accordance with the Abia State Board of Internal Revenue Law No. 7 of 2008, and the remittance was not made,” the court noted.

Last month, following similar orders issued by Justice K.O Wosu of the state high court, seven and two branches of the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA ) at Aba and Umuahia respectively and that of Cadbury Nig. Plc at Aba were similarly sealed off for the same reason.

The court held that while the UBA failed to remit to the state government the sum of N55, 982, 186, Cadbury Plc did not remit the N269,556, being their due Staff Tax (PAYEE) deductions.

BIR Chairman, Mr Udochukwu Ogbonna told The Guardian that sealing off the Tax defaulters premises would serve as a deterrent to others, adding that over 1000 Tax defaulters were facing prosecution in the state Revenue courts.

Not less than twenty premises of Tax Defaulters comprising banks, factories, federal government offices, restaurants, hotels, etc, had been sealed in the state on the orders of the State Revenue Courts.


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