Revisiting class action litigations against corporations in Nigeria: Lessons from the US experience
Author: Kalu Kingsley Anele
Affiliations: Lecturer: Pusan National University, Busan, South Korea
Source: Journal of Corporate and Commercial Law & Practice, Volume 8 Issue 2, 2022, p. 55 – 83
Class actions remain one of the most plausible mechanisms to aggregate and ventilate corporate grievances in court effectively. Despite its advantages, including recurrent corporate malfeasance, the class action procedure in Nigeria is limited in scope. This article uses a comparative analysis methodology and the class action regime in the United States (US), which is general in nature under Rule 23, to interrogate the application of the procedure in Nigeria. It argues that Nigeria’s extant class action legal framework is limited in scope since it focuses only on intellectual property infringements. By comparatively analysing the application of Rule 23 in the US in bankruptcy, competition, securities, and human rights cases, the article submits that introducing a general class action framework is imperative in Nigeria. Consequently, this article suggests using legislation, courts, public enlightenment strategy, and guidelines for attorney fees to introduce, strengthen, and implement a general class action regime in Nigeria. This would engender corporate behavioural change, encourage policy regulation, bolster the use of class action by legal practitioners, and facilitate access to court.