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Ecobank fails to halt Honeywell’s contempt suit


ECOBANKECOBANK Plc yesterday failed in its bid to stop contempt proceedings in the suit filed against it by Honeywell Flour Mills Plc and its sister companies.

Despite several applications filed by its counsel, Kunle Ogunba (SAN), for adjournment of hearing of the contempt proceedings, Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos said he would rule on the contempt application January 15, 2016.

The court had ordered parties to maintain status quo but Ecobank allegedly filed another action before another court on the same matter, necessitating the respondent (Honeywell) to file for contempt of court.

The firm is seeking to commit to prison, the directors of the bank.

Ogunba had asked for further adjournment of the contempt proceedings pending the hearing of the appeal against an earlier pronouncement by Justice Idris to the effect that the court has jurisdiction to hear the matter.

In his response, counsel to Honeywell Flour Mills and others, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), opposed the application for adjournment.

He stated that as part of the protection of the majesty of the court, his lordship should not grant Ogunba’s application, arguing that it was the same application he made on October 11, 2015, resulting to the adjournment of the matter for the day’s hearing.

Ruling, Justice Idris stated that ‘the court must uphold its integrity’.

“It is not just desirable but important to hear the contempt proceedings. The court must give precedence to the contempt proceedings,” he stated.

Justice Idris, therefore, held that he would hear the contempt proceedings and adjourned to January 15, 2016 for hearing of the suit.

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