CRSG/First Bank Settle Rift, Bank Reopens

While the Cross River State Government moved swiftly today and resolutely shut down several offices of First Bank Plc in the state, informed sources inside the bank have just informed that both parties have settled their rift and the bank’s offices will reopen to customers tomorrow.

The sealing of First Bank offices in the state followed a court order in Suit No: MSC. NO. HC/SCT/MSC/BIR/02/2019 where the CRSG had approached the court, in lieu of accumulated tax claims of more than N211 million, over a five year period, 2005 to 2010, against the bank.

Justice Michael Edem who granted the Warrant of Distrain, agreed that it be carried out ought against the Distrainee’s (First Bank) goods, Chattels lands, premises or plate, bonds and securities for non-payment of N211,094,450.00 (Two Hundred and Eleven Million, Ninety-Four Thousand, Four Hundred and Fifty Naira) only, being outstanding tax liability payable by the Distrainee to the Applicant under the back duty Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) deductions, Business premises, Development levy and With holding tax (Excluding Interest), liabilities for the period 2005-2010.”

The order further said that, “…First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Calabar being the Distrainee shall pay the outstanding tax liability amount of N211,094,450.00 (Two Hundred and Eleven Million, Ninety Four Thousand, Four Hundred and fifty Naira) only into Cross River State Revenue Account, using Code: 1203000000/401007F and the sum of N100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) only is being awarded as cost.”

“Our tax consultants disagreed with the figure but as we speak, the disagreement is over, I can’t tell you the figure that was paid to the state government, but I can assure you that we are over the line and our offices have reopened”, the source maintained.

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