Appeal Court Dismisses Yunusa’ Ex parte Order Against Honeywell

The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos on Wednesday dismissed the ex parte order granted against Honeywell Flour Mills Plc in favour of Ecobank.

Justice Mohammed Yunusa of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos had on December 4, 2015 ordered partial freezing of Honeywell’s accounts following an application by Ecobank’s lawyer, Mr Kunle Ogunba (SAN).

Honeywell thereafter approached the Court of Appeal, through its lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), seeking to set aside the order.

In the judgment delivered by Honourable Justice Abimbola Obaseki-Adejumo, the appellate court set aside Yunusa’s ruling on the ground of abuse of Order 4 of winding up rules.

Order 4 of winding up rules states that every application in court other than a petition shall be made by motion, notice of which shall be served on every person against whom an order is sought not less than five (5) clear days before the day named in the notice for hearing the motion.

The Court of Appeal stated in its judgment that Yunusa’s ruling was sketchy vis-à-vis the available affidavit.

“The exercise of justice was too extreme in the Interim Order. Justice of the case demands that both sides be heard. The ruling of Yunusa J. is thereby set aside,” Justice Obaseki-Adejumo stated.

In a related case, the cross appeal by Ecobank against the ruling of Yunusa, which granted limited access to Honeywell Flour Mills Plc to operate its accounts was also struck out.

The second appeal by Ecobank against Honeywell, challenging the jurisdiction of Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in establishing a customer-banker relationship, was also struck out.

The Court of Appeal stated that there is a banker-customer relationship between the parties.

Delivering judgement, Justice Obaseki-Adejumo ruled that Ecobank’s appeal lacks merit and stands dismissed.

“The ruling of Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in favour of Honeywell is hereby affirmed,” she concluded.

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