Court warns NICON Insurance against forum shopping

Court warns NICON Insurance against forum shopping

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Thursday cautioned NICON Insurance Limited against forum shopping.

Justice Tijjani Ringim issued this warning after the firm discontinued two identical suits it filed against the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria.

The judge upheld the submission of AMCON’s counsel, Mr Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), that both suits, FHC/L/CS/1116/2021 and FHC/L/CS/1115/2021, were identical with a third suit numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/760/2021.

Pinheiro had contended that the plaintiff had been embarking on forum shopping in filing two suits within two weeks and withdrawing the same. These suits were FHC/L/CS/1051/21 and FHC/L/CS/1052/21 both filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos.

He prayed the court to stop this attitude by dismissing the suit and awarding punitive costs to serve as a deterrent to others.

However, counsel for NICON Insurance, Adenrele Adegorioye, opposed him.

Adegorioye prayed the court to grant his application for withdrawal and strike out the suit on the ground that the plaintiff was still within time to withdraw under the Rules of Court.

Justice Ringim, in a bench ruling, struck out the matter, but with a caveat.

He said, “Plaintiff is hereby warned not to embark on a voyage of forum shopping because upon perusal of court records, which I am permitted to do under the rules, I can see that this same plaintiff filed the same set of suits on the 23rd of August which was withdrawn on the 28th of August.

“Subsequently, the same plaintiff filed another suit seeking the same reliefs. The court is not a forum for a game of chance. The court will frown at such if this repeats itself.”

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