Ecobank to challenge judgment in Honeywell case on appeal

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Ecobank Nigeria Ltd on Friday vowed to appeal the Lagos Federal High Court judgment in which the court held that Honeywell Group was not indebted to the bank.

The bank’s lawyer Kunle Ogunba (SAN) said he would consult with his client with a view to filing the appeal after further reviewing the judgment.

“Of course we do not agree with the judgment because the plaintiffs are still indebted to my client.

“We’ll definitely challenge the judgment on appeal,” Ogunba said when contacted by newsmen.

Justice Ayokunle Faji declared that Honeywell Flour Mills Plc and its sister companies were not indebted to Ecobank Nigeria.

The judge made the declaration on Friday while delivering judgment in a suit filed by Honeywell against Ecobank.

Honeywell and its sister companies had, in their suit, sought the court’s declaration that they do now owe Ecobank, contrary to the bank’s claim they were indebted to the bank to the tune of N5.5billion.

The companies urged the court to hold that having made a full and final payment of N3.5billion as agreed at a July 22, 2013 meeting, they were no longer indebted to the bank.
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But the bank insisted that in paying the N3.5billion, the firms did not comply with the terms of agreement.

It contended that the firms breached the agreement that the money would be paid before the end of August 2013 when examiners from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who were in the bank to examine its books, would leave.

But the firms contended that the bank failed to tell it when exactly the CBN examiners were to leave, adding that it made the final payment on December 12, 2013.

In his judgment on Friday, Justice Faji ruled in favour of Honeywell and its sister companies, holding that they were no longer indebted to the bank.

The judge also awarded a cost of N250, 000 against the bank in favour of Honeywell and its sister companies.