Ecobank Nigeria Limited has asked the Federal High Court in Lagos for leave to take over all the assets of Honeywell Group, owned by Oba Otudeko, over an alleged N4.1billion debt.
The bank filed a bankruptcy suit through its counsel Mr Kunle Ogunba (SAN) of Insolvency Forte.
It caimed that Otudeko was indebted to it following the alleged failure of his three firms – Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Siloam Global Services Limited and Anchorage Leisures Limited – to liquidate a loan granted them.
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Ecobank prayed the court to command the businessman, who it said personally guaranteed the loan, to immediately avail the bank his “statement of affairs, statement of net worth and other credible financial details requisite and in furtherance to the Bankruptcy Act.”
The bank also prayed the court to grant it leave to “appropriate or otherwise utilise the investments, shares or other interests of the debtor (Otudeko)” in all the companies and any other one “in Nigeria or outside Nigeria in partial or full satisfaction of the debt due.”
It seeks “a receiving order against the estate, funds, investment, shares or other interest of the debtor” in Siloam Global Services Limited, Honeywell Group Limited, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Anchorage Leisures Limited and Honeywell Oil and Gas Limited.
The other companies are Uraja Real Estate Limited, Broadview Engineering Limited, Uraja Power Solutions Limited, Honeywell Energy Resources Limited, Hudson Power Limited, Pivot Engineering Limited and Pavillion Technology Limited.
The bank prayed for the order to cover any other company in which Siloam Global Services Limited holds interest either directly or indirectly within and outside Nigeria.
But, Otudeko filed a preliminary objection, urging the court to either dismiss/strike out the suit or stay proceedings “in deference to arbitration.”
He described the suit as an abuse of court processes, contending that it was filed in gross violation of Section 7(1)(a) of the Bankruptcy (Proceedings) Rules Cap B2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010.
The case will come up for hearing on September 29 as Justice Akintayo Aluko did not sit on Wednesday.