By Alex Enumah in Abuja
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has held that his order of February 7 restraining the National Insurance Commission (NICOM) from taking steps that would undermine or negatively impact the operations or business of Guinea Insurance PLC still remains valid.
Justice Ekwo reaffirmed the order at Monday’s proceedings, when counsel to the plaintiff (Guinea Insurance PLC) sought for further restraining orders against NICOM, whom he accused of making moves to grind the operations of the plaintiff.
Guinea Insurance PLC had on February 6, 2019 in an exparte motion asked the Federal High Court to restrain NICOM from taking steps that would impede its operations and or business venture.
The plaintiff in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/151/2019, further asked the court to lift NICOM’s directive that suspended Guinea Insurance from writing new insurance business.
In a short ruling, the court granted the exparte motion, suspended the purported suspension of Guinea Insurance by NICOM pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
At the resumed hearing Monday, counsel to Guinea Insurance informed the court that despite its earlier order restraining NICOM from taking steps to frustrate the operations of his client, the commission recently wrote brokers asking them not to deal with Guinea Insurance PLC.
He also alleged that there are further steps by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to suspend trading in the shares of Guinea Insurance PLC on the floor of the exchange, a move he claimed can easily bring about the death of the insurance firm.
Also, Okonkwo told the court that NICOM did not appear in court despite being served the hearing notice on the motion on notice filed before the court as directed by the court. Responding, Justice Ekwo said that the counsel ought to have brought a formal application deposing to the actions by the respondent (NICOM).
He then said: “In the eyes of the court the earlier order made on February 7 subsists.”
He subsequently adjourned the matter till February 26 for hearing of the main suit.