The Federal High Court has delivered a judgment in favor of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc in a prolonged suit against Ecobank Nigeria, granting all four reliefs amounting to the sum of N72.2 billion.
According to details of the court proceedings, Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court in Lagos in his ruling on Tuesday noted that “ The complainant was denied the use of finances in his account grounded on the partner parte order granted in favour of the defendant. ”
Honeywell had in 2018 filed a suit claiming the sum of N72 billion in damages from the bank for reputational losses suffered as a result of the asset– induratingex-parte order.
The claims include foreign exchange devaluation loss, interest on unutilised cash balance, loss of profit, and exacerbated and exemplary damages.
“ It is, thus, my firm view that the complainant is entitled to the quantum claimed in relief, ” Justice Liman said in his ruling.
He added, “ The argument of the defendant in his spoken address is thus not respectable as the contents of the document are the stylish substantiation and they speak for themselves. ”
The legal battle between Honeywell and Ecobank commenced in 2015 as a result of a disagreement between the two companies over the terms of agreement of a debt, which the company owed the bank.
Honeywell had claimed that it had settled its outstanding debt to Ecobank having fulfilled its part of an agreement with the bank to pay the sum of N3.5 billion as full and final payment of the company’s obligation to the bank.
Ecobank, meanwhile, claimed that this agreement wasn’t binding on the bank as its Board of Directors hadn’t ratified the agreement, which was communicated to Honeywell by the Managing Director of the bank.
The bank also claimed that the payment wasn’t made within the quested timeline. Seeking a resolution to the issue,
Honeywell sought the intervention of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria’s( CIBN)Sub-Committee on Ethics and Professionalism( Bankers ’ Committee), being the assiduity– accepted disagreement resolution medium for resolving controversies between bankers and their guests.
The Bankers ’ Committee is an organ made up of representatives from the Central Bank of Nigeria( CBN), CIBN, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation( NDIC) and Managing Directors of Banks.
At the end of the review of the arguments cited by Honeywell and Ecobank, the Bankers ’ Committee ruled in Honeywell’s favour by resolving that the payment of N3.5 billion by Honeywell was indeed full and final agreement of its scores to Ecobank and Honeywell wasn’t indebted to Ecobank.
Not satisfied Ecobank asserted, through correspondence with the company, that the company was still obliged to the bank and also maintained the company’s name in the CBN’s credit threat operation database gate fornon-performing loan accounts.
Honeywell Group, thus, sought the intervention of the courts to give effect to the decision reached at the Bankers ’ Committee.
“ The bank, through its counsel, went on to institute several suits against Honeywell before multiple judges of the same Federal High Court, Lagos Judicial Division with all primarily being in respect of the same subject matter, seeking an order to indurate all the accounts of the company and deny the company access to all its finances with banks in Nigeria, ” the Nigerian counsel said in its publication.
excursions from Justice Mohammed Yunusa, who ultimately granted the order, all the courts approached, requested the bank to put Honeywell on notice regarding theex-parte order, which was applied for.
Honeywell is now claiming damages grounded on the order granted by Justice Yunusa claiming the move was designed primarily to injure its business and beget significant embarrassment to headliners and officers of the company, according to Nigerianlawyer bulletin.
“ The defendant’s arguments in this regard can not stand. I’ve no vacillation in granting relief in favour of the complainant, ” Justice Liman said.