TEMPLARS secured a landmark judgment at the Nigerian Court of Appeal (COA) which will disrupt the new labour jurisprudence on triangular or co-employment relationship introduced by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN).
The judgment, delivered on 20 December 2022, in TotalEnergies E&P Nigeria Ltd v. Felix Adariku & Ors, allowed an appeal filed by TEMPLARS on behalf of TotalEnergies and set aside the judgment of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria which reclassified the employment relationship between TotalEnergies, several outsourcing companies and personnel of the outsourcing companies and on that basis made a multimillion dollar award for wrongful termination of employment against TotalEnergies.
The NICN had earlier held that a triangular or co-employment relationship existed between TotalEnergies, the outsourcing companies and the personnel of the outsourcing companies, based on the provisions of Section 91 of the Labour Act.
The kernel of the defence put up by TEMPLARS on behalf of TotalEnergies included that there is no employment contract or employment relationship and therefore no privity of contract between TotalEnergies and the personnel of the outsourcing companies. The COA agreed with this position and concluded that there was no iota of evidence to indicate that the arrangement and agreement of the parties indicated any form of triangular or co-employment relationship.
This article highlights the notable points and key takeaways from the judgment.
TEMPLARS’ defence team was led by Partner, Inam Wilson, SAN and assisted by Senior Associates; Izuchukwu Ohajinwa and Munachiso Michael and Associate, Francis Jarigo.