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Oba Otudeko on offensive against Ecobank, opens up on N13.5bn judgement debt



Oba Otudeko floors EcoBank as Court orders N72 payment to Honeywell

Honeywell Group chairman Oba Otudeko has requested that First Bank Nigeria (FBN) Holdings ignore Ecobank’s request for it to deny his purchase of 4.77 billion shares.

Recent purchases of FBN Holdings shares by Honeywell Group through its affiliate Barbican Capital Limited total 4,770,269,843 units.

With the acquisition, the company’s ownership in the top bank increased to 13.3 percent, making it the dominant shareholder.


A few days after the purchase, Ecobank wrote to FBN Holdings asking the business to deny Honeywell’s application to become the company’s largest shareholder, which was led by Otudeko.

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In addition, Ecobank asserted that Honeywell owes it a debt of N13.5 billion, noting that the supreme court had upheld the obligation on January 27, 2023.

Wole Olanipekun, lawyer for Otudeko and Honeywell Group, responded to the bank’s allegation by stating that the N13.5 billion debt mentioned in Ecobank’s letter was not included in the supreme court’s ruling or any other current court decision in Nigeria or internationally.


According to Honeywell, Ecobank did not receive the full amount or any judgement amounts (as debt owing) as a result of any court ruling.

Honeywell’s reply was contained in a letter dated July 10, 2023, and addressed to the managing director of FBN Holdings.

“We write at the instance of Dr. Oba Otudeko, CFR and Honeywell Group Ltd. (our Clients), whose attention have been drawn to a letter dated 7th July, 2023 (written on the instruction of Ecobank Nig. Ltd.) with the above subject,” the Honeywell letter read.

“Even though, the author(s) of the letter refused to deliver copies to our clients, and/or the other entities referred to in the letter (which has been widely circulated in the media space), it is our instruction to respond as follows:

“Whereas, the letter falsely alleges that there was a decision of the Supreme Court in SC/CV/210/2021 made on 27th January, 2023 “affirming the indebtedness” of our clients and that the decision also”commanded” our above stated clients to perform certain acts, neither Dr. Oba Otudeko, CFR nor Honeywell Group PIc was a party to the Supreme Court decision/proceedings and no order was made against them.


“Thus, the further statement in the letter that “…the actions being taken by Dr. Oba Otudeko is (sic) … in order to frustrate the enforcement of the judgment of the Supreme Court against him” is without any factual or inferential basis arising from the express terms/contents of the judgment.

“Ecobank was the defendant in the claim at the Federal High Court which culminated in the decision of the Supreme Court in SC/CV/210/2021.

“The Bank had no counterclaim right from the Federal High Court through to the Supreme Court and, naturally, the Supreme Court could not have, and, indeed did not grant or award any claim in favour of the Bank.”

Honeywell urged FBN Holdings to ignore and decline all the requests contained in Ecobank’s letter.

“As you are aware, the duties of the Chief Executive Officer of a financial institution are statutory and they do not extend to the various actions Ecobank’s letter requested you to perform, including but not limited to intervention in transactions between third parties on the Nigerian Exchange,” the letter adds.





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