Ecobank urges court to restrain Honeywell, others from accessing funds

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EcobankEcobank Nigeria Limited has urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to restrain Anchorage Leisures Limited from accessing its funds in 20 banks over an alleged N5.5 billion debt.

The bank is claiming that Anchorage and its sister companies – Honeywell Group Nigeria Limited and Honeywell Four Mills Plc, owned by billionaire businessman, Dr. Oba Otudeko, are indebted to it.

Ecobank said Honeywell Group should be barred from accessing its funds in Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, Wema Bank, Enterprise Bank, Union Bank, First Bank, Skye Bank, Sterling Bank and Unity Bank.

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Others are – Keystone Bank, United Bank for Africa, Mainstreet Bank, First City Monument Bank, Diamond Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Guarantee Trust Bank, Fidelity Bank and Ecobank.

The court had discharged interim orders made against Anchorage last October 27, but Ecobank appealed.

The bank is praying for an order of injunction restraining the respondent from having access to its funds in the banks pending the determination of the appeal.

The court had, last October 27, granted an interim injunction preserving the res (funds) pending hearing of the bank’s application for the appointment of a provisional liquidator over Anchorage’s assets.

But, Justice Jude Dagat, on March 18, discharged the orders following an application by Anchorage that the orders had expired.

Ecobank, through its lawyer, Mr. Kunle Ogunba (SAN) of Insolvency Forte, said the judge should not  have discharged the injunction because it was to subsist until its winding-up petition was determined.

“The interim order made on October 27, 2015, was made particularly to prevent the respondent from dissipating its funds in the custody of all the banks listed.

“There is urgent need to preserve the res of the appeal to avoid foisting a situation of helplessness on the Court of Appeal, a superior court of record,” Ecobank said.

Ecobank said if Anchorage is not restrained, it would take advantage of the discharged interim orders to dissipate the funds, which is the subject of the winding-up petition, thus rendering the appeal nugatory.thenation.