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Kogi Govt seals First Bank branches over alleged Tax Evasion
 
By: News Editor
Tue, 13 Sep 2022   ||   Nigeria, Lokoja
 

The Kogi State Government has sealed-off all First Bank Nigeria PLC branches operating in the State.

The action was on the order of a Kogi High Court sitting in Lokoja.

It was reported that this was effected on Monday by Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS), following what it described as the inability of the Bank to liquidate its outstanding tax liabilities of over N411.12 million to Kogi State Government.

The Director, Legal Services of the KGIRS, Bar. Saidu Okino, who spoke to Newsmen about the development said the amount represents outstanding withholding tax from the Bank’s Mobile Banking agents from 2015 to 2022.

Okino said that the action of the Board is as a result of the refusal of the Bank to liquidate the liability despite several demand notices to that effect.

The Director said that approaching the Court was a last resort as all other measures to make the Bank pay up proved abortive.

”Before we went to court, there was a Demand Notice to that effect dated 12th day of October, 2021, and signed by the then acting Chairman, Abubakar Yusuf.’’

“We made several attempts. We sent them a notice of the intention of the service to take warrant of distraint so that we can do whatever is needful, on 25th day of February, 2022, but we were ignored.’’

“On the 25th of August, 2022, Notice of Refusal to amend their liability was served on them. We did not on our own roll out our machinery to go and seal.”

The Officials of the affected Bank Branches at the Post office and Ganaja junction, Lokoja are silent on the matter.

Some of the customers of the Bank who spoke with Newsmen on the issue expressed concern that they could not transact business with the bank beyond withdrawing money via ATM and stressed the need for the two parties to reach amicable resolution for the Bank to resume business.

 

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