Yemi Davids, Corporate Communications Manager, Honeywell Group, in this interview with GODWIN DUNIA said his company was yet to receive any correspondence from the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on its reported clearance of Lagos lawyer, Mr. Kunle Ogunba of allegations of professional misconduct.
Is it true that Honeywell is plaintiff in the case between it and Ecobank?
Yes, Honeywell instituted the suit against Ecobank due to Ecobank's failure to adhere to the initial ruling of the Bankers' Committee, which ruled in Honeywell's favour to the effect that based on the agreement reached at the meeting of July 22, 2013, the payment of N3.5 billion by Honeywell was full and final settlement of its obligations to the Bank.
In view of media reports on Ogunba's clearance by the NBA, what is your view regarding the petition?
We are unaware of the clearance of Mr. Ogunba by the NBA. Honeywell is the petitioner. We petitioned the NBA against Mr. Ogunba and we expect that whatever decision the NBA reaches will be formally and officially communicated to us. As at today, Honeywell has not received any notification or correspondence from the NBA saying it has reached a decision on our petition. So, it is our belief that NBA has still not reached a decision. As a matter of fact and by the news coming out in the media that there are already two clearances by the NBA, it is unconscionable that this will be the case. In view of our disbelief, which is based on the sequence of events leading up to the dates being bandied by the media, it is absolutely impossible that there is a decision, let alone a clearance by the NBA.
Has the NBA in anyway contacted Honeywell about the clearance?
NBA has neither contacted Honeywell regarding a decision on the petition nor provided any update on it. Note that this is despite the fact that we have written three letters respectively dated November 20, 2017; January 17, 2018 and March 7, 2018 and received by the NBA requesting update on the petition.
Have you received any update then?
The last letter we received from the NBA was the one dated October 26, 2016 forwarding Ogunba's response to our petition and requesting our comments if any. We have not received any other correspondence since then.
Nigerians are reading different angles of the story. Did Legal Practitioners' Privileges Committee (LPPC) actually investigate the matter?
The LPPC did and their decision is publicly available. The LPPC issued a formal statement on its decision on the matter. The LPPC's statement was issued on January 11, 2018 and the Secretary of the LPPC/Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Mrs. Hadizatu Mustapha, signed it. Note also that prior to the release of LPPC's press statement, there was formal hearing, where the parties went as far as cross-examining the other. It was a full hearing attended by Ogunba (representing himself) and the Honeywell represented by its own lawyer.
What is Honeywell's position to NBA's alleged silence on this issue?
We believe that there is no decision yet. The NBA will formally notify us when it reaches a decision on our petition.