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Honeywell is not indebted to Ecobank, court rules


Honeywell Flour Mills

A Federal High Court, Lagos has held that Honeywell Flour Mills Plc and its sister companies; Anchorage Leisures Limited and Siloam Global Limited are no longer indebted to Ecobank Nigeria Limited.
Justice Ayokunle Faji made the declaration while delivering judgement in a suit filed by Honeywell Group against Ecobank Limited.
Following a dispute over an alleged indebtedness of N5.5 billion to Ecobank Limited, Honeywell Group and its sister companies filed a suit seeking court’s declaration that they were not indebted to Ecobank, contrary to the bank’s claim that they were indebted to it to the tune of N5.5 billion.
The companies have urged the court to hold that having made a “full and final” payment of N3.5 billion, as agreed at the July 22, 2013 meeting, they were no longer indebted to the bank.
But the bank insisted that in paying the N3.5 billion, the firms did not comply with the terms of the agreement.
It contended that the firms breached the agreement that the money should be paid before the examiners from the Central Bank of Nigeria, who were in the bank to examine its books, would leave.
But the firms contended that the bank failed to inform them when exactly the CBN examiners were to leave, adding that it made the final payment on December 12, 2013.
In his judgement, Justice Faji ruled in favour of Honeywell and its sister companies,  holding that they were no longer indebted to the bank based on the exhibits placed before the court by the defendant.
Justice Faji said Ecobank did not give any update about the actual time limit for the repayment of the loan. “Based on the agreement reached between the parties, the plaintiffs are no more independent to the defendant,” the court held.
The judge also awarded a cost of N250,000 against the bank in favour of Honeywell and its sister companies.

In a swift reaction to the judgment, Ecobank Nigeria Limited through a firm, Specialized Resolution Company, which took over the disputed Honeywell loans said it would appeal the judgment and pursue the appeal to logical conclusion.
[02/06, 08:26] Mr Joe Guardian: Court dismisses bank’s suit against firm.

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