Longe v First Bank of Nigeria PLC: Views in Support of the Supreme Court Decision

Philip Oamen, Patrick Iweoha, Matthew Anushiem, U. Ekeneme

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


In the case of Longe v. First Bank of Nigeria Plc the Supreme Court of Nigeria seemingly made a revolutionary pronouncement on the settled position of labour law in Nigeria by deciding that the remedy of reinstatement or specific performance could be granted in favour of employees in private employments. Perhaps, for the first time in the history of labour law in Nigeria, the apex Court held that an employee in a private employment could be reinstated. This decision, as would be expected, has been criticized by lawyers, academics as well as labour and industrial relations stakeholders in Nigeria. Almost all academic wore on the case of Longe have criticized the Supreme Court decision in the case. The decision in that case also seems to be in tandem with the global perspective on the issue of termination of contracts of employment which now require every employer who wishes to terminate the contract of employment of his employee to show reasons for the termination and as well afford the employee with the requisite notice of the proposed termination. The employer is also required to afford the employee with an opportunity to defend himself and in the event that the termination turns out to wrongful or unlawful, the employee will be entitled to or of reinstatement. In this paper. the researchers have taken views in support of the apex Court's decision. The researchers undertake an analysis of the seemingly controversial judicial decision handed down by the Supreme Court in the Longe case with a view to showcasing the need for a away from the long time Common Law position prevalent in Nigeria. We therefore contended that the Supreme Court decision is legally justifiable on the ground that the plank on which the Supreme Court based its decision in reinstating Mr. Longe was that, he being a (Managing) Director, his employment was rooted in a statute, that is, the Companies and Allies Matters Act (CAMA) and so, his employment, though in a private sector has statutory flavour. Also that as a managing Director he is entitled to notice of meeting wherein at which his proposed removal was to be discussed. Most importantly that the global trend as can be found in ILO Convention is that an employee who is sought to be removed should be given notice of meeting where his proposed removal is to be discussed. At the end, the researchers recommend that Nigeria should embrace the decision in Longe’s case and activate the process of given the decision a statutory backing by ensuring that the global perspective made operative in Nigeria.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-89
Number of pages13
JournalMadonna University Faculty of Law Law Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Employment Law
  • Dismissal
  • Contract of employment
  • Removal of Director
  • Court
  • Nigeria


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