Ecobank vs Honeywell: Appeal Court Orders CJ to Re-assign Case

It would be recalled that the suit came consequent upon an alleged N3.5 billion unpaid loan facility which Ecobank gave Honeywell.


The Court of Appeal presided over by Justice Abimbola Obaseki-Adejumo held that justice demanded that both sides must be heard.


The appellate court judge further upheld an appeal initiated by Honeywell against an ex-parte order made by Justice Mohammed Yunusa on Dec. 4, 2015.


The company appealed against partial freezing of its accounts following an application by Ecoban’s lawyer Kunle Ogunba (SAN). The trial judge had restrained the chairman of Honeywell Group, Dr. Oba Otukedo, the company’s directors and subsidiaries from withdrawing from any bank or financial institution.


However, Honeywell, through its lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) sought to discharge the order, contending that it was an abuse of court process.


Justice Yunusa had in his ruling held that the company could withdraw up to N60million in a month pending when the suit is heard and determined.


The court had held that its decision was to enable Honeywell Group to meet its financial obligations, but not satisfied with the ruling, Honeywell appealed, insisting that it wants full access to its funds.


In its ruling on the matter, the appellate court declared that the trial judge made the ex-parte order without notice to Honeywell in violation of the rules guiding winding-up petitions.


According to the Appeal Court judge, ”˜The rules state that every application in such a petition shall be by motion on notice to the person against whom the order was made.

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”˜Justice of the case demands that both sides are heard. The ruling of the Federal High Court is hereby set aside; the petition shall be assigned to another judge for necessary action. Parties shall bear their costs.’


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