Lagos division of Court of Appeal, has directed Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to re-assign a winding-up petition filed by Ecobank Nigeria Limited against Honeywell Flour Mills Plc.
Justice Abimbola Obaseki-Adejumo said justice demands that both sides must be heard, and made no order as to cost.
The justice upheld an appeal by Honeywell against an ex-parte order made by Justice Mohammed Yunusa last December 4.
Honeywell group had appealed against partial freezing of its accounts following an application by Ecobank’s lawyer Mr. Kunle Ogunba (SAN).
Justice Yunusa had restrained chairman of Honeywell Group, Dr Oba Otukedo, the company’s directors and subsidiaries from withdrawing from any bank or financial institution.
But Honeywell, through its lawyer Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) sought to discharge the order, contending that it was an abuse of court process.
Justice Yunusa in his ruling held that the company could withdraw up to N60million in a month pending when the suit is heard and determined to enable Honeywell Group meet its financial obligations by withdrawing N15million only per week.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, Honeywell appealed, insisting that it wants full access to its funds.
The suit is sequel to an alleged N3. 5 billion unpaid loan facility which Ecobank gave Honeywell.
Justice Obaseki-Adejumo said Justice Yunusa made the ex-parte order without notice to Honeywell in violation of 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 made.
“Justice of the case demands that both side 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.
Ecobank had also appealed a ruling by Justice Mohammed Idris striking out contempt proceedings initiated against it by Achorage Leisures Limited, a subsidiary of Honeywell Group.

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  • Bongos

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