Also on Monday, the appellate court reserved for judgement Ecobank’s cross appeal bordering on the same subject matter. A Federal High Court in Lagos, had on December 14, 2015, issued the interim order in a suit between Ecobank Plc and Honeywell Group. The suit is sequel to an alleged N3. 5 billion unpaid loan facility granted by Ecobank to Honeywell. Justice Mohammed Yunusa had issued an interim order, limiting Honeywell to N15 million weekly withdrawals from the company’s account. Dissatisfied, Honeywell appealed and prayed the court to set aside the interim order. When the appeal came up Monday, the 3-man panel of Justices, presided over by Justice Sidi Bage, reserved judgement after counsel to Honeywell, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and that of Ecobank, Mr. Kunle Ogunba (SAN) adopted their briefs of arguments. Adopting appellant brief dated December 24, 2015, Olanipekun urged the court to allow the appeal and set aside the exparte order made by Justice Yinusa. Olanipekun urged the Justices to see the appeal as a ‘’Save Our Soul’’ from the appellant, adding that the activities of the Honeywell Group have been paralysed as a result of the exparte order granted by the lower court. Olanipekun further argued that the activities of the appellant had been in comatose and that salaries of over 5,000 were yet to be paid due to the exparte order granted by the lower court. He therefore urged the court to hold that the lower court Judge erred in law when he granted a winding up petition through an exparte applicant. Olanipekun drew the attention of the court to what he called abuse of court processes by the respondent (Ecobank), arguing that the respondent had filed a winding up petition before Justice James Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Lagos,‎ on the same facts while another same was before Justice Idris of a sister court. He stated that when Justice Tsoho heard the exparte application and refused same because a similar suit was before a sister court and further directed that Ecobank put Honeywell Flour Mills Plc on Notice. He submitted that instead of putting Honeywell Flour Mills Plc on Notice as directed by Justice Tsoho, Ecobank filed another winding up petition before Justice Mohammed Yunusa. He added that Justice Yinusa on November 18, 2015 granted the exparte orders and adjourned the matter till December 24, 2015. Olanipekun argued that it was wrong for the lower court to hold that the exparte orders granted were in the nature of Mareva injunctions. Opposing the appeal, counsel to Ecobank, Kunle Ogunba, adopted the respondent brief dated February 22, 2016 and urged the court to uphold the preliminary objection and dismiss the appeal. Ogunba argued that it was a misconception that the appeal filed by Honeywell was as a result of exparte order granted by the lower court, stressing that the exparte order had been varied by the lower court on December 4, 2015. On its cross appeal, Ecobank challenged the entire consolidated ruling of the lower court in respect of the appellant’s motion on notice of November 26, 2015. Ogunba averred that the Company and Allied Matters Act allows for the preservation of assets by interim orders in a winding up petition, pending the appointment of a liquidator. He stated that the trial court erred and caused a miscarriage of justice by allowing the respondent a weekly cumulative withdrawal of N15 million from its attached account, having not denied its indebtedness to the appellant. He submitted that the lower court occasioned a miscarriage of justice by allowing Honeywell to dissipate the preserved assets, pending the hearing of an application for appointment of a liquidator. But, in his response to the cross appeal, Honeywell counsel, Olanipekun, argued that there was no cross appeal before the court and urged the court to dismiss same as it constitute an abuse of court.]]>

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