Connect with us

News and Report

Alleged N3.5b debt: Ecobank takes Honeywell to Supreme Court

Published

on

Ecobank Nigeria Limited has urged the Supreme Court to set aside a Court of Appeal verdict on its winding-up petition against Honeywell Flour Mills Plc over an alleged 3.5billion debt.
Justice Mohammed Yunusa of the Federal High Court in Lagos last December 4 froze Honeywell’s accounts following an application by Ecobank’s lawyer, Mr. Kunle Ogunba (SAN) of the Insolvency Forte.
The judge later varied the order by allowing Honeywell to withdraw N15million per week pending hearing of the suit, which Honeywell appealed against.
The Court of Appeal ruled in Honeywell’s favour and discharged the restraining order. In the judgment delivered by Justice Abimbola Obaseki, the Court of Appeal set aside Justice Yunusa’s order on the ground of abuse of Order 4 of winding up rules.
The Court of Appeal held that Justice Yunusa made the ex-parte order without notice to Honeywell. She said it violated the rules guiding winding-up petitions.
According to her, the rules state that every application in such a petition shall be by motion on notice to the person against whom the order was to be made.
“Justice of the case demands that both sides be 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,” she held.
Justice Idris had last August 10 made an order of interim injunction restraining the bank from publishing the plaintiffs’ name as debtors and ordered parties to maintain status quo pending hearing of the plaintiffs’ suit.
But Honeywell said while the suit was pending, Ecobank filed other suits before other judges in a bid to recover its debt from Honeywell Group and its chairman Oba Otudeko. Honeywell’s lawyers, therefore, filed Form 48 and Form 49, urging the court to hold the bank in contempt.
But Justice Idris struck out the contempt proceedings on the basis that no proper service was effected on the alleged contemnors.
Ecobank has opted to approach the Supreme Court to set aside the entire judgment/decision of the Court of Appeal on the ground that the appellate court erred in law in setting aside the ex-parte orders made by Justice Yunusa.
The bank is urging the Supreme Court to hold that the Winding-up Rules did not outlaw the issuance of ex-parte orders, among other ground.
Besides, it said the Winding-up Rules did not provide for ex-parte orders, adding that it was provided for in the court’s Civil Procedure Rules.
“The Winding-Up Rules is a subsidiary legislation and not elevated to the rank of a statute. Rule 4 of the Winding Up Rules only provided for applications inter-parties and thus created a lacuna as it relates to ex-parte applications which can only be filled by the Civil Procedure Rules of the court,” the bank said.
Ecobank also appealed against the dismissal of its appeal challenging the jurisdiction of Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in establishing a customer banker’s relationship in a related case.
The Court of Appeal had held that there was a banker-customer relationship between the parties.
However, the bank is praying the Supreme Court to hold that the Court of Appeal occasioned a gross miscarriage of justice by allowing the respondents the benefits of an “in-principle” agreement they were never party to.
Ecobank is also praying the Supreme Court to decide whether it was wrong to seek redress before other courts and whether it amounted to contempt of court.
“The learned justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law and occasioned a gross miscarriage of justice by failing to determine whether the learned trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, had power to even hear or consider the committal proceedings,” the bank said.
Ecobank has also urged the Court of Appeal to grant an order of injunction restraining Honeywell from taking advantage of the order discharging the interim/varied order pending the determination of the case by the Supreme Court.
The bank said the interim order was made to preserve Honeywell’s funds in some banks, namely Zenith, Access, Citibank, Standard Chartered, Wema, GTBank, Fidelity and Ecobank until the case is determined.
“There is an urgent need to preserve the res (subject-matter) of the appeal to avoid foisting a situation of helplessness on the Supreme Court, a superior court of record,” Ecobank said.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

News and Report

Police Deploy More Personnel To Seaports In Lagos Over Nigerian Students, NANS’ Protest

Published

on

Following the ASUU strike that has kept university students across the nation at home for over seven months, NANS declared “Occupy The Airport” nationwide protest.

The Nigeria Police Force has announced that it has deployed personnel to adequately secure seaports across the nation following a threat by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) to shut down commercial activities at the nation’s busiest seaports ¬¬¬¬¬¬- the Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports in protest over the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Following the ASUU strike that has kept university students across the nation at home for over seven months, NANS declared “Occupy The Airport” nationwide protest.
The aggrieved students who protested on Monday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport also reportedly threatened to ground commercial activities at the Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports in Lagos State.
Disclosing the security beef up to Daily Trust, the Commissioner of Police in charge of Western Port Authority Command, Jonathan Towuru, said security was tightened around the Western Ports to avoid any breakdown of law and order although the student body did not show up as threatened.
The commissioner said, “People went about their businesses while operations at the terminals went on seamlessly, without any hindrance. But if the students eventually turn up, we will engage them in discussions. I must say that they conducted themselves well on Monday at the airport even though you still saw police monitoring the protest.”

 

Continue Reading

Crime/Security/Safety

Evans The Billionaire Kidnapper Bags 21 Year Imprisonment

Published

on

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Ikeja Special Offences Court on Monday sentenced kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans, and his co-defendant, Victor Aduba, to 21 years imprisonment for kidnapping one Sylvanus Hafia.

They were accused of conspiring and kidnapping Sylvanus Ahanonu Hafia at about 5:30 pm on June 23, 2014, at Kara Street, Amuwo Odofin in Lagos and were alleged to have captured and detained Hafia and demanded a ransom of $2m.

But they pleaded not guilty to the four charges.

The judge held that the sentence would serve as a deterrent to other aspiring kidnappers

Continue Reading

News and Report

Poverty, Hunger in the Country, Okowa Blames APC

Published

on

…says Delta healthcare will curb medical tourism

Delta State Governor and Vice-Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ifeanyi Okowa, weekend, said that poor management of the nation’s economy by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) caused the rising hunger and poverty in the country.

He stated this at an empowerment programme for the people of Ika Federal Constituency at Boji-Boji Owa, Ika North Council by the member representing the constituency at the House of Representatives, Mr. Victor Nwokolo.

The governor, who commended Nwokolo for his gesture, described the event as “empowerment programme with a difference. He said Nigeria was troubled because people were hungry and out of job due to mismanagement of the nation’s economy.

He added that even students were having lots of challenges because their parents could not meet their needs owing to the level of poverty resulting from ineptitude of the APC-led Federal Government.

He, therefore, urged Nigerians to support the PDP, saying it was the only party with clear understanding of the nation’s challenges and had clear solution to rescue the nation.

Earlier, Nwokolo said his motive for the empowerment was to restore hope to the hopeless amid rising hunger and poverty in the land.

MEANWHILE, Okowa, also at the different forum, said the huge investment being made by his administration in the health sector was to improve healthcare delivery and reduce medical tourism in the country.

He disclosed this in an interview with journalists shortly after inspecting facilities at the Advanced Diagnostic Medical Centre and Mother and Child Hospital, Owa-Alero in Ika Council of the state.

He said the twin medical facilities would, on completion, reduce medical tourism as it would provide first-class medical services to people who would have sought medical treatment abroad.

“I am glad we have gotten to this stage. I had high hopes that by today, we would have inaugurated these projects.

“The equipment are fully on site and we are trying to get things fully sorted out and I am sure that in the next one month, it should be ready and opened to the public for use.

“The two projects are obviously very important. The Mother and Child, as it is so stated, is supposed to take care of every illness concerning our women and children,” he said.

Continue Reading

Trending