July 5 (THEWILL) – One of the major commercial banks, Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB), in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, has been shut down by the state government over tax debt.
The bank was conducting business transactions earlier in the morning when the Ebonyi State Board of Revenue’s task force team visited the bank and ordered its immediate closure.
Mr. Okoro Celestine, who is the Head of Integrated Revenue, Ebonyi State Board of Internal Revenue Service, explained that the decision to seal the bank due to their inability to meet their notices to pay their accrued tax, claiming that they had applied for a court order before coming to seal the bank.
He said they have been served several formal notices since Jan. 14 to date, but they have been unable to pay the tax.
“The reason we sealed the bank is because they failed to pay their taxes, which have accrued.
“This is not the first time that we have come here, several formal notices have been served on them from January 14, 2022 to date, and we have a procedure, we are not just coming to seal it. A court order was granted to us to come and seal it.
“A notice of first demand has been given to them; they were also given a recall notice, but they refused. We have no other option, we are not going to fight them, except to do what is necessary by seeking court orders to seal them.
“We believe it should be sealed today. We’re not going to unseal it until they comply. We didn’t start this journey today, it’s from January, which is seven months.
THEWILL collected the amount owed as the tax was not disclosed, but a source close to the board said he owed over N100million.
Efforts to speak with the bank manager were unsuccessful, as he refused to discuss the matter.