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Drama as Otudeko appears in court, tries to evade cameras


Chairman, FBN Holdings Plc, Dr. Oba Otudeko

The Chairman of Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko, yesterday engaged broadcast journalists in a hide-and-seek game at the premises of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

The court summoned Mr. Otudeko to come and testify in a N5.5 billion debt his firms, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc. and its sister companies – Anchorage Leisures Ltd. and Siloam Global Limited– allegedly owed Ecobank Plc.

But after leaving the witness box, Mr. Otudeko, sporting his trademark native Yoruba attire, was confronted with the challenge of how to evade the waiting television cameras outside the court.

As his aides marched alongside him out of the courtroom, the sight of a TV camera sent them scurrying back to the rear of the building to exit through the back gate but the cameraman had raced just in time to meet them there too.

The Honeywell boss and his group beat a quick retreat and stood at a safe distance from the camera.

The 45-minute drama saw the TV crew stationed themselves at both exit points of the court premises, to ensure there was no escape for Mr. Otudeko.

The move left Mr. Otudeko and his aides scratching their heads behind the administrative building, as they frantically plotted a safe passage to no avail.

At some points, some of the business mogul’s aides confronted the cameraman with questions like, “why are you doing this?” while simultaneously erecting a wall between the camera and their principal.

A mild scuffle was averted after one of the aides lunged at the camera in a bid to forcefully halt the recording of the entire episode.
Otudeko eventually made his exit at about 11.40a.m., after his aides erected a human shield around him as he walked to his waiting car outside the court premises.

The drama provided a side attraction on a day when the businessman made a physical appearance in court to avoid a bench warrant being issued against him.

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