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Customers Groan As Gombe Revenue Board Seals Access Bank

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Members of staff of Access Bank Plc and customers of the bank in Gombe were locked out of two banking halls yesterday by the Gombe State Internal Revenue Service which came to enforce a court order.

The sealed the premises of the bank for defaulting in tax payment of over N118 million.

The executive chairman of the State Internal Revenue Service, Abubakar Inuwa Tata, said the closure of the bank offices followed a ruling of the Tax Appeal Tribunal in Bauchi, where the bank’s case was dismissed.

He said the bank must pay its liability of N118 million.

Tata said sometimes in the year 2020, “we made a demand for them to pay their tax liability (2008 to 2019), they rushed to the Tax Appeal Tribunal Bauchi.

“They took us to court and ironically, we followed up with our legal department to this moment when we had a ruling that their case is dismissed and they are to pay their liability of N118 million”, he stated.

According to him, “our consultant conducted a tax audit for 2008 to 2019. We served them and they have the right to question how we arrived at this amount.

“They should have called for Tax Audit Reconciliation Appeal meeting where you put everything on the table and the reason for objecting to the demand notice but they did not do that.

“When we insisted that they pay, before we knew it, by March 2020, they rushed to Tax Appeal Tribunal in Bauchi, which is a zonal court and we started having that legal battle from that time up till this moment.

“Behold, 10th of February, 2022 (last Thursday), we had a judgement. We sought an order of disdain to ask them to pay the sum or we seal the premises,” he said.

Tata said based on company income tax law, 30 days are given for one to object and failure to do so, it becomes binding.

He however assured that, “If I receive alert today of payment of N118 million, I’ll remove the seal on the bank and they’ll continue operations till the end of the day”.

Some of the customers told journalists after they were sent out from two branches of the bank on Biu Road and New Market they were disappointed by the development.

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