Pan-African lender Ecobank will comply with an order by a court in Ivory Coast to publish in international media a judgment in a defamation case brought by its former chief executive even as it appeals against the ruling, a bank spokesman said on Sunday.
Ecobank must publish the commercial court’s ruling on former CEO Thierry Tanoh’s case in “all news media and internet sites” or face a fine of $400,000 a day, according to the judgement issued on Jan. 15.
The order stems from a suit brought by Tanoh concerning events leading up to his dismissal as CEO last March after months of turmoil over corporate governance that rocked one of the largest financial institutions in sub-Saharan Africa.
The court said Ecobank and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) of South Africa must pay Tanoh $15 million for defamation in a ruling Tanoh’s lawyer said re-established his honour.
The PIC is the largest asset manager in Africa and one of the top shareholders in Ecobank, a bank headquartered in Togo and listed in Nigeria, Ghana and on the West African regional bourse BRVM.
Both Ecobank and the PIC said last week they would challenge the ruling in Ivory Coast’s court of appeal but a spokesman for Ecobank said it would abide by the court order.