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We are no more indebted to Ecobank, Oba Otudeko tells court

By Joseph Onyekwere
15 February 2018   |   4:08 am
The Chairman of Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko, has said that Honeywell companies are no longer indebted to Ecobank Nigeria.

Dr. Oba Otudeko

The Chairman of Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko, has said that Honeywell companies are no longer indebted to Ecobank Nigeria.

He said Honeywell had paid N3.5 billion to Ecobank as full and final settlement of all its obligations to the bank.

Otudeko made this statement yesterday when he gave evidence in the ongoing matter instituted by Honeywell against Ecobank before Justice Ibrahim Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

Led in cross-examination by Honeywell’s counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Otudeko affirmed that the Honeywell companies, following an agreement reached with the Managing Director of Ecobank, Jibril Aku and other executives of the bank on July 22, 2013, had paid N3.5 billion as full and final settlement of Honeywell’s obligations to the bank.

Prior to giving evidence, Ecobank’s counsel, O. A. Divine, sought to stall proceedings by making an application to adjourn the matter on the basis that another appeal and an application for stay of proceedings had been filed just yesterday at the Court of Appeal.

Olanipekun, however, objected to the oral application for adjournment, stating that the matter for the day was the delivery of a ruling regarding the issue of cross-examination of Ecobank’s witness, Otudeko.

He said the application was an abuse of court process as it was an attempt to arrest the ruling of the court.

Justice Idris, after listening to arguments of the counsel, ruled that he was unable to place any value on the application to stay proceedings because the copy presented to the court by Ecobank’s counsel was not a certified true copy.

He also affirmed that indeed the “ruling of the court cannot be arrested.”

He subsequently ruled that cross-examination should proceed.

Olanipekun concluded the cross-examination of Otudeko and Ecobank’s counsel declined to re-examine him. The witness was thereafter discharged.

It appears that Ecobank’s strategy to call Otudeko as its star witness fell flat on its face, as its counsel was unable to extract any testimony from him to support Ecobank’s case. Despite being the party that invited the witness, Ecobank’s counsel abruptly declined to proceed with the witness.

The matter was adjourned till March 12, 2018.

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