On the 29th of April, 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria (“ CBN”), the apex regulatory body for banks and other financial institutions in Nigeria created under the CBN Act 2007 (“CBN Act”),[1] announced the removal of all the directors of First Bank of Nigeria Limited (“FBN”) and its holding company, FBN Holdings Plc (“FBN Holdings”). The CBN also re-appointed 14 out of the 21 directors affected by the removal to form a new board of directors for the two institutions and reinstated the removed Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of FBN (“MD/CEO”), Dr. Adesola Adeduntan.[2]

This action raises important legal issues, which will be addressed in this article, especially with regards to the regulatory powers of CBN to make decisions concerning the constitution of the board of directors of financial institutions in Nigeria.