Nigeria – Dr. Oba Otudeko has advised FBN Holdings Plc to dismiss Ecobank’s request, made in a letter, regarding the recognition of shares transferred to Barbican Capital Limited.

Last Friday, Barbican Capital, reportedly owned by Otudeko, acquired a total of 4,770,269,843 shares in FBN Holdings Plc, establishing its stake at 13.3 percent.

Shortly after the purchase, Ecobank sent a letter to FBN Holdings, urging the bank to reject Honeywell Group’s bid, led by Otudeko, to become the largest shareholder. Ecobank claimed that Honeywell owes them a debt of N13.5 billion, stating that this debt was affirmed by the Supreme Court on January 27, 2023.

In response to Ecobank’s claim, Wole Olanipekun, legal counsel to Otudeko and Honeywell Group, stated that the N13.5 billion debt mentioned in Ecobank’s letter was not included in the Supreme Court’s decision or any existing court ruling in Nigeria or elsewhere.

Honeywell Group asserts that no court order has awarded the specified amount or any judgment sum as a debt owed to Ecobank.

“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.

Consequently, Otudeko’s legal representatives urged FBN Holdings to dismiss and reject the requests made in Ecobank’s letter, highlighting the lack of a court order supporting the claims.

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