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N5.5bn Debt: Supreme Court Affirms Honeywell’s Indebtedness To Ecobank


The Supreme Court at the weekend dismissed an appeal by Honeywell Flour Mills Limited challenging the judgement of the Court of Appeal in the debt dispute with Ecobank Nigeria Limited, affirming the indebtedness of the company to the tune of N5.5 billion to the bank.

The five-member panel of the Supreme Court, led by Tijjani Abubakar, delivered the judgement that Honeywell, Anchorage, and Siloam were indeed indebted to Ecobank. In the lead judgement delivered by Emmanuel Agim, the Supreme Court declared the verdict of the Court of Appeal, which said Honeywell and its sister companies are still indebted to Ecobank.

“I affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeal, setting aside the decision of the Federal High Court, granting the reliefs claimed for by the appellants (Honeywell). “I hold that the appellants’ claim at the trial court fails and it is hereby dismissed. “The appellants shall pay the cost of N1 million to the respondent (Ecobank),” Agim said.

By the instant judgment of the apex court confirming the indebtedness of the named customers to the Bank, the Bank can now proceed to recover from the debtor-customers the total outstanding debt of N5.5 billion including all the accrued interest from 2015.

In the wake of the legal tussle, Dr Oba Otudeko, Honeywell Group chairman, had told a Court of Appeal that the sum was owed by individual companies. These companies include Anchorage Leisures Limited, Siloam Limited, and Honeywell Flour Mills Plc. Otudeko maintained that his companies had paid N3.5 billion as of December 12, 2013, as the full and final payment for the N5.5 billion debt as agreed by the parties at a July 22, 2013, meeting.

With the latest Supreme Court judgement, the companies remain indebted to the Bank.

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