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FG makes U-turn on return of NICON Insurance, Nigeria Re to Jimoh Ibrahim

Posted by By GODWIN TSA Abuja on 2008/03/08 | Views: 640 |

FG makes U-turn on return of NICON Insurance, Nigeria Re to Jimoh Ibrahim


The Federal Government has agreed to returned the management of NICON Insurance and Nigeria Re-Insurance to Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim. It, however, failed to endorse the agreement before the Federal High Court, Abuja on Tuesday.

The Federal Government has agreed to returned the management of NICON Insurance and Nigeria Re-Insurance to Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim. It, however, failed to endorse the agreement before the Federal High Court, Abuja on Tuesday.

The decision to return the two insurance companies was contained in an agreement reached between the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Michael Aondoakaa and the lawyers to Ibrahim.
The agreement, dated March 3, 2008 and filed before a Federal High Court hearing the case on the controversy over the management of the insurance companies and entitled: “Term of Settlement'' was signed by Aondoakaa Ibrahims lawyers, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), and a former Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Akinlolu Olujimi (SAN).

It reads in part: “That in furtherance of the desire to amicably settle the issues in contention, the government hereby returns the management of the board of NICON and Nigeria Re to the status quo ante and forthwith dissolve the management and interim boards constituted by government for these companies.

“That the matter of ownership and re-capitalisation is no more in contention. That the suit by NICON and Nigeria-Re shall upon signing this agreement and filing same in court abate.
“That the plaintiffs (NICON and Nigeria Re) shall appreciate its position in the insurance industry and country at large and shall be aware that it is serving the interest of Nigeria
“That the plaintiff shall support the re-capitalisation policy of the defendants and therefore agree to withdraw all pending suits against the defendants.

“That NICON and Nigeria Re shall, at all time, subject themselves to the supervisory power of National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) as a regulatory authority as prescribed by law,
“They shall sign an memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the position, agreeing to act mutually in good faith in their transactions towards each other.”
Paragraph 10 of the agreement read: “That these terms of settlement are irrevocably binding on all parties and their privies, assign servants and agents.’’

A Special Assistant to Minister of Justice, Mr. Simeon Egede, who represented Aondoakaa, told the court that his boss called and asked him not to endorse the agreement as scheduled.
He subsequently asked for an adjournment of the case to enable him get clarification on it.
The Director of Civil Litigation, Mrs Agatha Mbamali, who also came to save the situation.
Court, said: “I am here for an important and urgent matter. We have instruction to back out of the agreement.''

When pressed further on the reason for the government’s decision, she replied. “You will not hear from me the reason.”
Akintola had earlier opposed the application for adjournment, contending that the agreement to settle the case out of court was initiated by the AGF.

According to him, “the agreement was drafted by the attorney-general, He invited us after the drafting and we all signed it before he filed it in court.

“Paragraph 2 of the agreement says it is irrevocably binding upon signing and filing in court. Therefore the issue of rescission goes to no place,” he said.
Assurance Acquisition, which had filed an application to be joined in the suit, also indicated its position to oppose the agreement.

Represented by Dr. Dickson Osuala, the applicant said its application for joinder must be heard first before the endorsement of the agreement.
Ibrahim had won the bidding and fully paid for the national insurance companies before the Federal Government, on November 15, 2007, revoked the sale.

The Federal Government, subsequently, dissolved the Ibrahim led-management of the two institutions and appointed an interim management for them.
Justice Chikere adjourned further hearing in the case till March 5.

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