Ecobank Nigeria Limited has urged the Court of Appeal to allow it to challenge a ruling of the Federal High Court in Lagos in a suit it filed to recover an alleged debt of N5.5bn from the Chairman of Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko.
The said ruling, which Ecobank is seeking to appeal, was delivered by Justice Babs Kuewumi last year.
The judge, in the ruling, had held that he would first entertain a motion on notice filed by Otudeko seeking the dismissal of Ecobank’s suit ahead of other pending applications filed by Ecobank in the suit.
Displeased, however, the bank had, through its lawyer, Mr. Kunle Ogunba (SAN), appealed to the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal.
The appeal was, however, struck out on October 21, 2016 on the grounds that the bank did not first obtain leave of the lower court before appealing.
The bank is, therefore, seeking for leave to enable it invoke the Court of Appeal’s jurisdiction to entertain the appeal.
The bank, in its application to the appellate court, said, “The applicant (Ecobank) ran out of time to appeal as a result of the previous proceedings in Suit No. CA/L/227/16, which was not determined on the merit as a result of failure to procure the needed leave.
“The leave of this court is required to extend time to obtain leave of court to appeal the ruling of lower court. It is in the interest of justice that this application be favourably considered and granted accordingly.”
But, Otudeko, in its counter-affidavit sworn to by one Omolade Adeyemi, has urged the Court of Appeal to refuse Ecobank’s application.
Adeyemi said the bank had prosecuted the subject matter of the appeal and judgment had been given in which the Court of Appeal upheld its preliminary objection and struck out the appeal.
Ecobank, in its main suit before the Federal High Court, is seeking a receiving order against Otudeko’s estate, funds, investment and shares in Honeywell Group, Honeywell Flour Mills, among other companies, as well as an order declaring him bankrupt, over an alleged debt of N5.5bn.