Lawyers in Lagos have reacted to an order by the House of Representatives, asking the National Insurance Commission (NA1COM) to postpone the recapitalization of the insurance industry deadline.
The lawyers, under the aegis of COGATLA Group of Lawyers, contended that if, indeed, the media report on the order was true and anything to go by, then the actions and inactions of the House unanimously adopting the motion titled ‘Need to Suspend the Proposed Recapitalization of Insurance Companies”, amounted to contempt of court.
The group, in a statement in Lagos at the weekend which drew attention of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, described the action as wallowing in illegality, stressing that it was an unwarranted invasion of the judicial proceeding, a denigration of the judiciary as an institution, and a threat to democratic practice.
“These legal stand and assertion are accentuated by the fact that the issue of recapitalization of insurance industry in Nigeria is a matter that is in Federal High Court in Abuja in Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/835/2020 between Incorporated Standard Shareholders Association and NAICOM,” said Chijioke Ndubuisi Esq of G. C. Ndubuisi & Co.
He stressed that the matter was being handled by a federal high court and had been adjourned to February 18, 2020, pointing out that the court was yet to take a position on it.
Ndubuisi argued that if the federal legislators were allowed to dabble into matters that were before a court of competent jurisdiction, then, apart from the fact that such action breached the House of Reps rules that matters in court must not be subject of discussion, it was equally a direct affront on the judiciary.
He argued further that if the order was allowed to stand, then the House of Reps would be usurping the powers of judiciary to adjudicate and interpret the laws and constitution of the land.
“The resolution of the House of Reps to extend the recapitalization of insurance is ultra vires, illegal and contemptuous and breaches separation of powers as enshrined in the constitution,” he said.
He warned that the group would put legal machinery into action “if the House of Reps fails, refuses or neglects to set aside the said motion and not to put effect on the said order on recapitalization, and restrain from further interfering in a matter that is in court.”