REPRESENTATION OLIVER .O. OSANG for the claimant VICTOR ESSEN, U.UGOGADI with O. NWACHUKW (MISS) for the defendant. JUDGEMENT The claimant, by a General Form of Complaint dated and filed on 14th March, 2014 amended on 16th September, 2015 along with the Statement of Facts, Claimant’s Statement on Oath, List of Witness and List of Documents, approached the Court for the following reliefs: 1. A declaration that the claimant was lawfully employed by the defendant having failed to terminate the claimant’s employment after the one year probationary period by allowing the claimant to serve for additional one year without confirmation after the probationary period, before his termination. 2. A declaration that the defendant is in breach of the terms and condition of employment between the claimant and defendant having terminated the claimant’s employment in breach of these terms. 3. A declaration that the defendant’s act of forcefully ejecting the claimant from his apartment after the termination of the said appointment with the help of thugs and illegal policemen without due process is illegal, and unconstitutional. 4. A declaration that the defendant’s act of sealing and locking up the claimant’s apartment to deny him access to entry and the use of his properties for 3 years is illegal, unconstitutional and amounts to trespass against the claimant. 5. An Order that the defendant pays the sum of #10, 000, 000.00 (Ten Million Naira) only to the claimant for the unlawful termination of his appointment. 6. An Order that the defendant pays the sum of #10, 000, 000.00 (Ten Million Naira) only to the claimant for trespass to his exclusive possession and unlawful seizure and sealing of claimant’s properties. 7. An Order that the defendant pays to the claimant the sum of #234, 20 only. 8. On the 31st December, 2009, defendant ordered the claimant to vacate the quarters, when the claimant appealed for his entitlement, defendant paid two mobile policemen to beat and throw his properties out, wherein he was hospitalized. 9. General damages of #10, 000, 000.00 only. 10. An order that the said claims and all claimant’s entitlements due be paid through his solicitors with immediate effect. The claimant’s case on the record is that he was employed by the defendant and placed on one year probationary period; the said appointment was never confirmed or terminated after the probationary period. Yet the defendant allowed the claimant to serve for one year additional period before the termination of his appointment in breach of the terms and conditions of employment, defendant went further to forcefully eject the claimant from his apartment, with the use of thugs and illegal mobile policemen. When he could not succeed, defendant unlawfully sealed and locked up claimant’s properties for 3 years. It is averred that the defendant falsely caused the claimant to be charged with four others whom the defendant employed to seal claimant’s properties by replacement of doors, and keys used to seal the claimant’s apartment. When the charge failed by reason of lack of proof, the defendant caused the claimant alone to be charged with the same offence in Suit No. MC/10006/2011, which was also struck out. The defendants filed an AMENDED STATEMENT OF DEFENCE dated 19th May, 2015 on the same day. The defendants pleaded that the claimant’s appointment was terminated on the 15th of December, 2009 due to declining productivity and that the claimant was among the 7 (seven) staff of the defendants’ whose appointment were terminated in December, 2009. Furthermore, that the claimant was sent a memo stating the basis of the computation of the claimant’s terminal benefit requesting him to collect his cheque from the accounts department which he refused and or neglected to collect the said cheque, whereas, the other staff who were affected by the exercise collected their terminal benefits. Defendants stated that the claimant refused to vacate his room in the quarters he was residing before his appointment was terminated and that the defendant does not have access to the claimant’s room since all the keys of the external doors of the said property were stolen, thus, the property has been locked up at all times material to this action. The defendants stated that the claimant’s salary in lieu of notice forms part of his terminal benefit package and the defendants maintain that they are not indebted to the claimant in respect of the sums listed in paragraphs 5 (i) to (vi) of the Statement of Facts, save outstanding pension contribution. The Defendants pleaded that they did not instruct policemen, thugs or any other person for that matter to break into the claimant’s room neither they did not seal the claimant’s apartment as they too could not access the said room since all the keys of the external doors were stolen. The defendants pleaded that the claimant is not entitled to any of the reliefs sought for, same being speculative and an abuse of the process of court and should be dismissed with substantial cost against the claimant. The trial commenced on 19th May 2015 with the claimant testifying as CW adopting written statement on oath of 14th March 2014 which was marked as exhibit C1 and tendered 16 other exhibits. The claimant was duly cross examined by the defendants counsel. S/N TENDER BY NICN/CA/18/2013 DOCUMENT’S DATED DATE TENDER MARK 1. Claimant Counsel Witness on oath 9/2/2015 CW 2. Written statement on oath 14/3/2014 19/2/2015 C1 3. Letter of appointment 1/10/2007 C2 4. Re: Termination of appointment 15/12/2009 C3 5. Re: Termination of appointment 5/1/2010 C4-C41 6. Petition letter to commissioner C5-C51 7. A petition to save 6/1/2010 C6-C61 8. Letter to the commissioner of police 6/1/2010 C7-C71 9. Request for the confirmation 6/10/2008 C9 10. Reminder for confirmation 1/10/2009 C10 11. Re: settlement of final entitlement 16/2/1010 C11 12. Sales invoice 9/7/2008 C12 13. Letter of commissioner of police 22/10/2010 C13 14. Photographs C14 15 Negative of photograph C15 16. Letter to the High Chief 20/10/2010 C16-C161 17. Court order 7/3/2012 C17 The defendants called two witnesses one Mr. Otong Clement Ekanem the Principal Academics who adopted his written statement on oath dated 14th October 2014 which was marked Exhibit D1 and proceeded to tender 2 other exhibits. The defendants also called Mr. Ukpon Anyan Nkpon the Maintenance Supervisor who testified as DW2, adopted his written deposition of 23rdMarch 2014 which was marked Exhibit D5 and proceeded to tender two other exhibits, Both witnesses were duly cross examined by the claimants Counsel, thereafter the defendants closed their case and the matter was adjourned for adoption of final written addresses. 1. Witness on oath 22/10/15 22/10/15 DW 2 Witness statement on oath 14/19/2015 22/10/15 D1 3. Computation of terminal benefit No date “ D2 4. Pension contribution No date “ D3 5. Zenith bank cheque copy 23/12/2009 22/10/15 D4 6. Def’s written statement on oath 16/3/2013 11/11/2015 D5 7. Affidavit of compliance 10/12/2013 11/11/2015 D6 8. Enrolment of order 28/11/2013 11/11/2015 D7 DEFENDANTS’ FINAL WRITTEN ADDRESS was dated and filed on 25th November, 2015. Wherein the defendants raised an OBJECTION TO the trial JURISDICTION: The defendants objected to the jurisdiction of this Court to entertain this suit on the following grounds; 1. The 1st defendant is not a legal person recognized in law as capable of suing or being sued. 2. The claimant’s counsel did not affix a stamp and seal on the amended Complaint filed on the 16th of September, 2015, as mandated by Rule 10 (1) of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners, 2007. 3. The claimant’s action against the defendant is incompetent and robs the court of jurisdiction. ISSUE Whether the claimant’s action against the 1st defendant is not incompetent. Learned counsel argued that the 1st defendant is not a legal person capable of suing or being sued as it is not a limited liability company or a corporate entity to be accorded legal personality, rather it is a business name. Furthermore, that it is only legal persons who can sue or be sued in an action and that it is settled law that a business name cannot sue nor defend an action in a court of law not being recognized as a legal person. NIGERIAN ARMY v. SAMUEL (2013) 14 NWLR (PT. 1375) 466 @ 482, PARAS. E-F; SLB CONSORTIUM LTD. v. N.N.P.C. (2011) 9 NWLR (PT. 1252) 379 RATIO 9; MADUKOLU v. NKEMDILIM (1962) 2 SCNLR 341. Counsel submitted that the Amended Complaint filed without a stamp and seal is deemed not to have been properly signed or filed, thus, it follows naturally that there is no Complaint before this Honorable Court. SENATOR BELLO SARAKIN YAKI (RTD.) & ANOR. v. SENATOR ATIKU ABUBAKAR BAGADU & ORS. (2015) LPELR-25271 (SC). The defendants went on to raise two issues for determination in their final written address;- ISSUES FOR DETERMINATION 1. Whether the claimant has proved wrongful termination of his employment by the 1st defendant as alleged, to warrant his claims in damages. 2. Whether the claimant is entitled to any of the reliefs sought in this suit. ON ISSUE 1 Whether the claimant has proved wrongful termination of his employment by the 1st defendant as alleged, to warrant his claims in damages. Learned Counsel to the Defendant Victor Essien Esq. submitted that the principles and implications of probationary employment and termination under master and servant relationship as in the instant case, has been settled in plethora of cases such as IHEZUKWU v. UNIVERSITY OF JOS (1990) 4 NWLR (PT. 146) 598 RATIOS 3 & 6, where the Supreme Court held that an unconfirmed employee does not enjoy the permanence of employment which a confirmed staff enjoys. That the period of probation is a period of observation and an employer may lawfully terminate a probationary appointment as the purpose of putting the employee on probation is to give the employer an assurance that the employee is a fit and proper person to be placed on permanent employment. He submitted that the court will not determine order or compel the confirmation of an employee in respect of master and servant relationship more particularly when the contract has been terminated as that would mean imposing a servant on a master or ordering specific performance of contract of employment devoid of statutory flavour. NITEL v. IKARO (1994) 1 NWLR (PT. 320) 350; GABRIEL ATIVIE v. KABELMETAL NIG. LTD. (2008) 9 NSCR (VOL. 1) 42 @ 60, PARA. B; IHEZUKWU v. UNIVERSITY OF JOS (supra) R. 7. Defence Counsel contended that being a staff on probation whose appointment was not confirmed, the law generally is that either party is entitled to terminate the employment under that status with or without reasons and no procedure is required. IHEZUKWU v. UNIVERSITY OF JOS (supra) R. 6, followed in the case of NITEL PLC. v. AKWA (2006) 2 NWLR (PT. 964) 391 @ 417, PARA. C. Learned Counsel for the defence further submitted that the nature and length of notice required for termination of contracts of employment was notably settled by the Supreme Court in the case of SHENA SECURITY v. AFROPAK (NIG.) LTD. & ORS. (2008) 1 NSCR (VOL. 2) 184 RATIO 5; SEC. 11 of the LABOUR ACT. He urged the Court to hold that the 1st defendant lawfully exercised its right to terminate the employment in the manner both consistent with the law and the terms of the employment. SHENA SECURITY v. AFROPAK (NIG.) LTD. & ORS. (supra). It is Defendants’ counsel’s contention that where the Court holds that a servant’s employment was wrongfully terminated, that he is entitled to damages, the measure of damages to which an employee is entitled in such proven cases of unlawful/wrongful termination of contract of employment has well been settled. CHUKWUMAH v. SPDC (1993) 4 NWLR (PT. 289) 524 RATIO 10; P. 546, PARA. H; GABRIEL ATIVIE v. KABELMETAL NIG. LTD. (2008) 9 NSCR (VOL. 1) 42 RATIO 1 @ P. 55, PARA. C. He argued further that it is now settled that in an action for breach of contract of employment, the plaintiff where he succeeds is not entitled to any award for general or special damages, that all the claimant is entitled to is his salary in lieu of notice and all other allowances payable to him and no more. GABRIEL ATIVIE v. KABELMETAL NIG. LTD. (supra), per Onnoghen, JSC Ratio 5 @ P. 66, PARAS. A-B. Counsel to the defendants also submitted that the burden is on the claimant to prove his claims by cogent and credible evidence in so far as it desires the court to give judgement as to the existence of facts which he alleges and that the claimant is bound to substantiate his allegations with credible proof. Mere averment in a pleading cannot substitute or constitute credible evidence. SEC. 131 of EVIDENCE ACT, 2011; ANTHONY EHIDIMHEN v. AMADU MUSA (2000) 4 S.C. (PT. II) 166, 184; ADAKE & ANOR. v. AKUN (2003) FWLR (PT. 176) 625 R. 3 (S.C.); NITEL PLC v. AKWA (2006) 2 NWLR (PT. 964) 391 R. 1; ANGEL SPINNING & DYEING LTD. v. AJAH (2000) 13 NWLR (PT. 685) 532. ON ISSUE 2 Whether the claimant is entitled to any of the reliefs sought in this suit. Learned Defendants Counsel argued regarding the claimant’s status in the 1st defendant’s quarters with regard to his action in trespass, counsel relied on the case of CHUKWUMAH v. SHELL PETROLEUM (1993) 4 NWLR (PT. 289) 524, where the Appellant/employee was accommodated in a residence provided by the employer for his job, the Supreme Court held the employee staying in the residence of the employer to be a licensee with no proprietary rights or interest.; EMEKA NWANA v. F.C.D.A. (2004) 13 NWLR (PT. 889) 128, per Niki Tobi, JSC (as he then was) @ P. 140, PARAS. B-E. The CLAIMANT’S FINAL WRITTEN ADDRESS was dated 18th January, 2016 and filed on 19th January, 2016. The claimant for their part raised two (2) ISSUES for determination 1. Whether the Court has jurisdiction to determine the issue of jurisdiction when it has earlier ruled on it. 2. Whether the claimant has proved his case on balance of probability to be entitled to the reliefs sought. ON ISSUE 1 Whether the Court has jurisdiction to determine the issue of jurisdiction when it has earlier ruled on it. Learned Counsel for the Claimant Oliver Osang submitted that the Court at this stage is functus officio having ruled on the issue whether it has jurisdiction to entertain the suit and therefore, that defendants cannot under any guise invite the Court to revisit what has already been decided unless on appeal if any right exist. And secondly, regarding the incompetence of the Amended Complaint due to failure by claimant’s counsel to affix stamp and seal, counsel submitted that the failure by the claimant’s counsel to affix stamp and seal on the said Complaint does not make the processes incompetent, as the processes in this circumstance are competent but not properly signed and filed by the claimant’s counsel. RULE 10 (1) & (3) of the RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT FOR LEGAL PRACTITIONERS, 2007; SENATOR BELLO SARAKIN YAKI (RTD.) & ANOR. v. SENATOR ATIKU ABUBAKAR BAGADU & ORS. (2015) LPELR-25271 (SC). Counsel informed the Court that at the time the Amended Complaint was filed, the Court had not commenced the enforcement of stamp and seal, although that the claimant’s counsel had paid the prerequisite fees and applied to the NBA for the issuance of stamp and seal, same was eventually issued to him on 1st October, 2015. The Claimant’s Counsel also contended that the on the strength of RULE 10 (1) & (3) of the RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT FOR LEGAL PRACTITIONERS, 2007; SENATOR BELLO SARAKIN YAKI (RTD.) & ANOR. v. SENATOR ATIKU ABUBAKAR BAGADU & ORS. (2015) LPELR-25271 (SC), the defendants’’ Final Written Address is not properly before the Court as the said process is not dated, signed by any living person and also, no stamp and seal affixed on it. ON ISSUE 2 Whether the claimant has proved his case on balance of probability to be entitled to the reliefs sought. Learned Claimant Counsel submitted that an employee who complains of wrongful termination of employment by his employer as in the instant case, has the onus to prove the wrongful termination of the said employment by: a. Placing before the Court the terms and conditions of the contract of employment; and b. Proving in what manner the said terms were breached by the employer. NITEL PLC. v. AKWA (2006) 2 NWLR (PT. 964) 391 @ 394; SECTIONS 131 – 134 of the EVIDENCE ACT, 2011. He submitted that it is the Common law practice that where parties have reduced the terms and conditions of service into an agreement, the conditions must be observed by both parties, no party can pick and choose the terms to observe and not to observe. DR. BEN O. CHUKWUMAH v. SHELL PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY (1993) 4 NWLR (PT. 289) 512 @ P. 517 RATIO 1. It is Claimant’s Counsel’s contention that an employee whose contract of employment is terminated by the employer as in the instant case, is entitled to, in addition to payment in lieu of, all other allowances due to him. CHUKWUMAH v. SPDC (supra) Ratio 10, per Ogundare, JSC. On 26th January, 2016 the parties adopted their final written addresses and adumbrated their respective positions. Having carefully summarized the evidence of both sides, the arguments of opposing counsel and having carefully reviewed all the authorities cited, read through all the relevant processes and digested the contention of the parties and their written submission are herewith incorporated in this judgement and specific mention would be made to them where the need arises. The issues for determination in this suit to my mind are the issues as formulated by the defendants, which succinctly addresses the variable of this suit and shall be adopted by this court as the issues for determination mainly :- 1. Whether the claimant has proved wrongful termination of his employment by the 1st defendant as alleged, to warrant his claims in damages. 2. Whether the claimant is entitled to any of the reliefs sought in this suit. However before I address the merits of this case it is necessary that preliminary objection of the defendant has considered. See the unreported case of NICN/IB/54/2013 TITILAYO ADERIGBE Vs. NISER delivered 14th March 2014.where this court held that once jurisdiction is raised in the preliminary objection within a Final /written Address the Court is required to determine this before proceeding with anything else. See also Unreported SUIT NO: NICN/CA/14/2014 ENIANG NDEM Vs. MR. NDOMA AKPET & 3 ORS delivered 24th February 2016 The defendants contend that; 1. The 1st defendant is not a legal person recognized in law as capable of suing or being sued. 2. The claimant’s counsel did not affix a stamp and seal on the amended Complaint filed on the 16th of September, 2015, as mandated by Rule 10 (1) of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners, 2007. 3. The claimant’s action against the defendant is incompetent and robs the court of jurisdiction. With regards the 1st objection as to the legal status of the 1st defendant, this objection was the subject of a considered ruling in this suit delivered on the 14th March 2015, for counsel to raise this issue again after the court’s ruling smacks of improper and unprofessional conduct, in the case of SUIT NO. NIC/LA/37/2010 CHEVRON NIGERIA LIMITED Vs. NATIONAL UNION OF PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS WORKERS (NUPENG) & ANOR delivered on the 2nd December 2013 this court decried “the ploy of counsel is to reintroduce through the back door an issue already settled by the Court describing such conduct as most unfortunate and very unprofessional. Whatever the Legal profession is turning today I really do not know but that ploy must fail “ I share the sentiment of my learned brother. Counsel can adequately make their case on cogent legal arguments, recourse to statutory and case law precedent and references to comparative law without recuse to underhand and unprofessional antics which have the tendency to cast adrift both counsel and court not to mention the effect of the greater concept of justice. This ground therefore fails. The 2nd ground of objection was as regards the claimant’s counsel amended Complaint filed on the 16th of September, 2015 did not contain the required stamp and seal as mandated by Rule 10 (1) of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners, 2007. The claimant in turn contended although that the claimant’s counsel had paid the prerequisite fees and applied to the NBA for the issuance of stamp and seal at the time the Amended Complaint was filed, same was not issued to him until 1st October, 2015. Arguing further that the Court had not commenced the enforcement of stamp and seal as at the time of his filing his amended complaint. The Claimant’s Counsel countered in his reply by contending that on the strength of RULE 10 (1) & (3) of the RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT FOR LEGAL PRACTITIONERS, 2007; SENATOR BELLO SARAKIN YAKI (RTD.) & ANOR. v. SENATOR ATIKU ABUBAKAR BAGADU & ORS. (2015) LPELR-25271 (SC), the defendants’ Final Written Address is not properly before the Court as the said process is not dated, signed by any living person and also, no stamp and seal affixed on it. Looking at the defendants final address I find that the courts copy contains, at its last page, ‘the List of Authorities Cited’ the required stamp and seal, be that as it may this court has in the case of Unreported SUIT NO: NICN/UY/04/2015 INCORPORATED TRUSTEES OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE WELFARE OF RETIRED LOCAL GOVERNMENT STAFF, AKWA IBOM STATE. Vs. HON. COMMISSIONER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMEN AND CHEIFTANCY AFFAIRS, AKWA IBOM STATE & 2 ORS delivered on 16th February 2016 took judicial notice of the fact that Counsel had applied and were yet to be supplied the NBA stamp and seal to hold the absence of the stamp and seal was voidable see also NICN/AK/22/2015 CHIBUZOR ONYE-NSO Vs. FIRST MAXIMUM POINT INDUSTRIES LIMITED delivered on the 9th February 2016. What all that means is that in this Court bearing in mind that backlog in the supplying stamps and seal to the practitioner, this court shall act on the processes as long as the counsel in record has applied for the said stamp and seal until such a time when the legal counsel appearing before it would all have been supposed to have obtained such, it at that time that the court will be in a position to insist of the affixing of same a shall void any process not in compliance therewith. This ground of objection therefore also fails. The 3rd ground of the objection was that the claimant’s action against the defendant is incompetent and robs the court of jurisdiction, the defendant did not advance with exception to the first two grounds dealt with above, any addition reason for which this court is robbed of jurisdiction emanating from the claimants case or any other rationale, which would render this suit incompetent. The jurisdiction of this court is subject matter based and this court is not allowed to speculate as to the intention of counsel outside the parties submission. I find that the defendant has not indicated any grounds on which this court can find the claimant suit incompetent, this ground not being substantiated also fails. All this means is that the defendant’s preliminary objection lacks merit and is consequently dismissed, Now to the merits of the case. The claimant is seeking in this court the following reliefs;- 1. A declaration that the claimant was lawfully employed by the defendant having failed to terminate the claimant’s employment after the one year probationary period by allowing the claimant to serve for additional one year without confirmation after the probationary period, before his termination. 2. A declaration that the defendant is in breach of the terms and condition of employment between the claimant and defendant having terminated the claimant’s employment in breach of these terms. 3. A declaration that the defendant’s act of forcefully ejecting the claimant from his apartment after the termination of the said appointment with the help of thugs and illegal policemen without due process is illegal, and unconstitutional. 4. A declaration that the defendant’s act of sealing and locking up the claimant’s apartment to deny him access to entry and the use of his properties for 3 years is illegal, unconstitutional and amounts to trespass against the claimant. 5. An Order that the defendant pays the sum of #10, 000, 000.00 (Ten Million Naira) only to the claimant for the unlawful termination of his appointment. 6. An Order that the defendant pays the sum of #10, 000, 000.00 (Ten Million Naira) only to the claimant for trespass to his exclusive possession and unlawful seizure and sealing of claimant’s properties. 7. An Order that the defendant pays to the claimant the sum of #234, 20 only. 8. On the 31st December, 2009, defendant ordered the claimant to vacate the quarters, when the claimant appealed for his entitlement, defendant paid two mobile policemen to beat and throw his properties out, wherein he was hospitalized. 9. General damages of #10, 000, 000.00 only. 10. An order that the said claims and all claimant’s entitlements due be paid through his solicitors with immediate effect. Relief 1 is for a declaration as to the claimants employment status with regard to his on confirmation and the One year he worked for the defendant post probationary period. The law is as was stated that CHUKWUDINMA v. ACCESS BANK PLC (2015) 52 NLLR (PT. 176) 513 @ 519 NIC In determining the rights and duties of parties to an employment contract, the Court will consider the terms of contract of service between an employer and an employee. These terms of agreement are binding on both parties. FMC IDO-EKITI v. OLAJIDE (2011) 11 (PT. 1258) 256 referred to.] The claimant in establishing his employment tendered in this court exhibits C2, the Letter of Appointment, C9 Letter requesting for confirmation. ACCESS SCHOOLS Dated: 01 October, 2007 Our Ref: Mr. John Ashibene Ojeka No. 21 Asuquo Nyong Street Calabar LETTER OF APPOINTMENT With reference to the interview granted you on the 22 September, 2007 we have the pleasure to offer you appointment as Asst. Master I (Fine Arts And Hand writing) With effect from 01 October, 2007. You will be on a probationary period of One (1) year after which if your services are satisfactory, your appointment will be confirmed if during the probationary period you fail to satisfy the requirement of the company, we shall have no alternative than to terminate your appointment with two weeks notice or two weeks salary in lieu: You are also expected, during the tenure of your office, if you want to relinquish your position, to give two weeks notice in writing at the end of school year or two (2) month’s salary in lieu of proper Notice. The company is placing you on a basic salary of N120,000.00 per annum with corresponding fringe benefits as follows:- 1. Basic salary per annum 120,000.00 2. Housing allowance (40%) 48,000.00 3. Medical allowance (30%) 36,000.00 4. Transportation allowance (20%) 24,000.00 5. Meal subsidy allowance (10%) 12,000.00 6. Leave allowance (5%) of basic salary 7. Inconvenience/entertainment (5%) - 8. HOD (10%) - 9. Form teacher allowance (5%( 6,000.00 10. House teacher/games teacher allowance (5%) 6,000.00 11. Special allowance (fine Art) (10%) 12,000.00 Grand Total N264, 000.00 REFEREES: In view of the peculiar nature of the company’s operations, you are expected to give us two (2) referees who should be resident in Calabar or your former office location and whom we can communicate with directly as regards your character. Please let us know in writing if the above temporary conditions of service are acceptable to you and exact date you will commence duty. This should be accompanied with three (3) passport size photographs. Yours faithfully For: Access Schools G.E. UMODEN (Chief Executve) 5th January, 2010 High Chief G. E. Umoden (MFR) The Chief Executive Access School, Calabar Dear sir, RE-TERMINATION OF APPOINTMENT OJEKA, JOHN ASHIBENE We have been consulted ad our service retained by Mr. Ojeka, John Ashibene, a fine art Teacher in your school hereinafter referred to as “our client” and on whose behalf we write to you. Our brief is that “our client” was employed by your school as Assistant Master I, Fine Art and Hand writing in 2007, photocopy of letter of appointment attached. He successfully served the probational period of one year as stipulated in the letter of appointment and was due for confirmation which you denied him. On the 31st of December, 2009 you unofficially and without due process terminated his appointment and thereafter without paying all his entitlements threaten to evict him from the staff Quarters. This is contrary to the stipulation of the rules regulations of the LABOUR ACT which governs both the employer and the employee in Nigeria. In view of this, since his services are no longer required by you after serving you diligently for 2 years, the law requires that you pay him all his entitlements before quitting your Staff Quarters. Consequently, we demand that the following entitlements due should be paid to our client immediately to enable him relocate from your Quarters. 1.December, 2009 salary N22,000.00 2.Deduction for taxes and pension not Remitted for 26 months N74, 282.00 3.Tow months salary in lieu N44,000.00 4. Unauthorized surcharge N 3, 467.00 5. Night prep 3rd term balance N 4, 850.00 6. Night prep 1st term (2009) N11,700.00 7. Inconvenience charged for refusing to Confirm his appointment as at when N70,000.00 Due-N5,000.00 per month for 14 months Grand total N228, 299.00 It might interest you to know that investigation carried out about deductions from our client’s taxes and pension have not been remitted to the appropriate quarters, this in itself is a serious crime against the state. Sir, we sincerely hope this matter shall be amicably done away with by paying the above due entitlements to our client to avoid dragging the name of your highly reputable school to mud. Please, be advised. Yours faithfully, For: Kanu Agabi &Associates B.E. Aikpo Esq. Cc: Commissioner of Police State Police Command Diamond Hill Calabar Access Primary School Calabar, Cross River State 6th Oct, 2008 High Chief Umoden (MFR) The Chief Executive Access Group of Schools, Calabar. Sir, REQUEST FOR THE CONFIRMATION OF MY APPOINTMENT With reference to my letter of appointment dated 1st Oct, 2007 which state that I will be on a probationary period of one year after which if my services are satisfactory, my appointment will be confirmed if during the probationary period I fail to satisfy the requirements of the company the company will have no alternative than to terminate my appointment. Subsequently, I have been in active service for a year and one month no confirmation, no termination every thing stand still. I wish that the management look into my request and confirmed my appointment in line with our agreement. Counting on your usual co-operation, sir. Thanks Yours faithfully OJEKA, JOHN .A. I find from the exhibits before the court that the relationship between the claimant and the defendant is one of employer/employee commonly referred to as a Master and Servant relationship and the Exhibit C2 is the documents that determines the terms and conditions governing the employment relationship. Both parties made heavy whether of the issue of the confirmation and non-conformation of the claimant. Now even if the claimant’s employment was not confirmed by the defendant, given the length of time that the claimant worked for the defendant, is the claimant’s employment in law deemed to have been confirmed? Or can it be deemed confirmed. That is the question. The defendants say no arguing that the ‘court will not determine order or compel the confirmation of an employee in respect of master and servant relationship more particularly when the contract has been terminated’ The position of the law is that by TOTAL (NIG.) PLC V. ONUOHA  11 NWLR (PT. 725) 634, probation is the testing of a person’s abilities or behavior to find out if he or she is suitable. It is the suspension of a final appointment to an office until a person temporarily appointed has by his conduct proved himself to be fit to fill it. The authorities go on to provide circumstances in which confirmation can be deemed at the end of the period of probation even when there is no formal confirmation. In IHEZUKWU V. UNIVERSITY OF JOS  4 NWLR (PT. 146) 598 SC, the Supreme Court held that the essence of probationary appointment is to give the employer the right to confirm the employee’s appointment after a specified period. And by OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY V. ONABANJO  5 NWLR (PT. 193) 549 CA, the Court of Appeal held that a servant is deemed to have been re-appointed and confirmed by implication, if after his probationary period, although not specifically confirmed in writing, is encouraged to continue working by his master and duly paid for his continued services by the master. See also UNIVERSITY OF JOS V. DR M. C. IKEGWUOHA  9 NWLR (PT. 1360) 478 SC;  NSCQR VOL. 53.3 PAGE 330 SC. I indicated earlier that exhibits I alluded to, treated. And the claimant as an employee, and his salary was continually paid. All of this shows that the defendant encouraged the claimant to continue to work and paid him for his services despite that it refused to confirm his employment. In the case of THE COUNCIL OF FEDERAL POLYTECHNIC, EDE & ORS. V. OLOWOOKERE [2012- COURT OF APPEAL] LPELR 7935 CA PP 22-23 PARA B-B. The court of Appeal held that the doctrine of estoppel by conduct would operate to prevent an employer from alleging and treating an employee as if he was still on probation with respect to termination of employment, where the employee had worked for 12 months after the probationary period the court went on to say that “the appellant had by their conduct confirmed the respondents appointment. On the authorities, therefore, it is my finding and holding that the claimant’s appointment, having worked for 14 months after the one year probationary period, must be deemed confirmed by implication. The converse argument of the defendant is accordingly rejected. Equally rejected is the defendant’s contention that because the claimant was not confirmed, he can be terminated without reliance on any procedure. I resolve this issue for the claimant Relief 2 is for a declaration that the defendant is in breach of the terms and condition of employment in the manner in which the claimant was terminated. The law in settled se the case of U.B.A. PLC v. ORANUBA (2014) 2 NWLR (PT. 1390) 1 @ 5 C.A. Where it was held that “the exercise of power of dismissal or termination by an employer in a contract of employment which is not regulated by a statute must be in accordance with the agreement between the parties”. NNB PLC. V. OSUNDE  9 NWLR (PT.566) AT 511. Also A servant who complains that his employment has been wrongfully brought to an end must found his claim on the contract of service and show in what manner the wrong was done. He must plead and prove the contract of service which is the bedrock of his case. It is not the duty of the employer as Defendant to prove that the termination was not wrongful. OKUMU OIL PALM CO. LTD VS. ISERBIENRHIEN (2001) 6 NWLR PT. 710 PG 660. IDONIBOYE-OBU VS NNPC (2003) 2 NWLR PT. 805 PG 589.IN THE CASE OF OKOEBOR VS. POLICE COUNCIL (2003) 5SCNJ 52. It was held that “When an employee complains that his employment has been unlawfully terminated, or that he was lawfully dismissed, he has the burden not only to place before the Court the terms and conditions of the employment but the manner in which the said terms or conditions were breached by the employer” Where the contract of Employment has been reduced to writing, the court and the parties are bound by those terms. The court has no duty to look outside the terms stipulated and agreed therein by the parties to the contract in determining the respective rights and obligations of the parties arising from the contract. WESTERN DEV.CORP.Vs. ABIMBOLA 4NNSCC 172. NWAUBANI Vs. GOLDEN GUINEA BREWRIES PLC. 6NWLR Pt.400 Pg184 COLLEGE OF MEDICINE OF UNILAG Vs. ADEGBITE 5SC149 INTERNATIONAL DRILING CO. Vs. AJILILA 2SC115 The claimant tendered exhibit C3 Letter of Termination ACCESS HIGH SCHOOLS, CALABAR INTERNAL MEMO From: Admin Dept Date: 15th December, 2009 TO: Ojeka John Ashibene, RE: TERMINATION OF APPOINTMENT Following the review of the level of productivity during the out going 1st Term of the 2009/2010 school year, your level of productivity has been found to be below average. Consequently, your appointment is hereby terminated with effect from 31st December, 2009. You are formally handover the schools’ property in your possession and seek clearance from the relevant HODs’ to enable management settle your final entitlement. Utibe U. Udo (Admin Se) CC: MD, SSP, Auditor and DFC The relevant section in the terms and condition of the defendant with regard to probation are found in Exhibit C2 and provide thus:- “You are expected during the tenure of your office, if you want to relinquish your position, to give two weeks’ notice in writing at the end of the School Year or two months’ Salary in lieu of proper notice”. The same letter of appointment Exhibit C2 provides as regard termination during the probationary period as follows “If during the probationary period you fail to satisfy the requirements of the company, we shall have no alternative than to terminate your appointment with two weeks’ notice or two weeks’ salary in lieu of notice”. There is no provision for the claimant in event the employee wishes to terminate the contract during the probation period neither is there any stipulation as to the length of notice the defendant as employer must give the claimant as employee in order to terminate the contract of employment during the claimant’s tenure. The case of ARINZE V. FIRST BANK (NIG.) LTD  1 NWLR (PT. 639) 78 CA recognized the reciprocity in rights as between the employer and the employee when it comes to the right to terminate a contract of employment. The thing to note about the above clauses is that while the employer is enjoined to two week notice if it is terminating an employee during probation, the employee seeking to terminate the employment is required to give the employer a two week notice only at the end of the School year and two months’ notice. Secondly, while the employee may make payment of two months’ salary in lieu of notice in the case of him seeking to leave, no such provision was made when it is the employer who is terminating the employee. All of this appears deliberate; yet on the principle of reciprocity, these clauses ought to have provisions permitting payment in lieu of notice. Even the principle of reciprocity may also require that clause should have provided for an equivalent payment of two months’ notice in lieu on the part of the employee seeking to terminate the contract. So which of this principle of reciprocity should the Court take as reflecting the intention of the parties? Here, I may have to rely on the broad principle of labour law which holds that labour law was intended to safeguard the interest of the employee given his/her inferior bargaining power relative to the employer. In providing for notice confined to a particular period and the two month’s salary in lieu of notice on the part of an employee seeking to leave while retaining two week motice or two week salary in lieu of notice for the employer seeking to terminate the contract of an employee, exemplifies this divergent bargaining power by giving employees a shorter period of notice while giving the employer a longer period of notice. While the peculiar nature of the defendants institution can be understood being a school and running a school programme. This being the case, the parties must be read as intending that when clauses provided that an employer is to give two month’s notice when termination or two month salary on lieu of notice to an employee , in accord with established labour law norms, there is the reciprocal right to pay two months’ salary in lieu of notice. I so find and hold. See the case of SUIT NO. NICN/LA/184/2012 MR. PATRICK AIMIOSIOR Vs. INDUSTRIAL & GENERAL INSURANCE PLC. delivered on the 3rd June 2014. Learned author in his book SASEGBON’S LAWS OF NIGERIA, AN ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF NIGERIAN LAW AND PRACTICE, FIRST EDITION, VOLUME 16. PARAGRAPH 233- DETERMINATION OF MASTER AND SERVANT RELATIONSHIP. Wrote … “In other cases governed only by, agreement of the parties and not by statute as in the present case, removal by way of termination of appointment or dismissal will be in the form agreed to between the parties in the agreement binding on them”. I held earlier that Exhibit C2 is the documents regulating the contract of employment between the parties and that while the defendant is to give two weeks’ notice when terminating employees, there is the corresponding alternative of paying two months’ pay in lieu of notice if the termination is not at the end of the school year. Since Exhibit C2 talks of the employee paying the two months’ salary in-lieu of notice when terminating the contract, it means that the employer too can only pay the corresponding two months’ salary in lieu of notice when terminating employees. The defendant from Exhibit C3 gave the claimant only two weeks’ notice, this not being the end of the school year as enjoined by Exhibit C2. By this act, the defendant breached Exhibit C2, the documents regulating the conditions of employment. In additional to the two month salary in lieu of notice due on improper notice being in breach of the contract of employment between the parties, the claimant becomes thereby entitled to damages. Also the defendants aver that they informed the claimant in D2 on the 28th December 2009 to collect his entitlements from the accounts department,. This arrangement/ stipulation is contrary to the position of law that states that “it is that payment in lieu of notice is permissible, but such payment must be made at the time of the termination of the contract and not afterwards, see CHUKWUMA Vs. SPCN 1993 8 NWLR512 @ 518 Karibiyi Whyte JSC. See also book Determination of Contract of Employment and Remedies for Wrongful Dismissal, by Chigozie Nwagbara at page 24 @2000 Tate Publishers Lagos. The said payment should be given with the notification and not thereafter. I find that the defendants are clearly in breach of the contract of employment. Reliefs 3, 4, and 6 are claims for declarations as to the legality of that the defendant’s act of forcefully ejecting the claimant and the defendants sealing and locking up the claimant’s apartment for 3 years and an order for the payment of sum of #10, 000, 000.00 (Ten Million Naira) trespass and unlawful seizure and sealing of properties. The defendants have argued relying on. EMEKA NWANA v. F.C.D.A. Supra that an employee staying in the residence of the employer to be a licensee with no proprietary rights or interest. This court has held in a plethora of case that the National Industrial Court’s jurisdiction is subject matter based and does not extend to tenancy issues See the case of Unreported ruling in SUIT NO: NICN/IL/02/2012, CAPTAIN TUNDE OLUWADARE Vs. INTERNATIONAL AVIATION COLLEGE & ANOR Where the court held that with regards “to the claims bordering on tenancy, these are not issues that fall within the purview of Section 254C of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) or Section 7 of the National Industrial Court Act 2006 from whence the courts’ jurisdiction flows at present” see also Unreported SUIT NO. NICN/LA/648/2013 MR. OYEBANJI JULIUS ODENIYI VS. SHELL PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY OF NIGERIA LIMITED The jurisdiction of this court does not extend to claims as to property rights or tenancy. The learned author Professor Chioma Kanu Agomo in her book “Nigerian Employment and Labour Relations Law and Practice © 2011 Concept Publications Lagos at page 186 discuss the status of the employee as a licensee and not a tenant with no equitable right in the accommodation he occupies. Another Learned author Bamidele Aturu (of blessed memory) in his book, Law and Practice of the National Industrial Court (Hebron Publishing Co. Ltd: Lagos), 2013 raised the issue as to the position of the court with regard to viewing accommodation as a tenancy issue where the accommodation is a provision of the contract of employment. In the instant case the claimant has not put before the court any document that his accommodation was a condition of his employment which would clothe the court with jurisdiction to look into that. That not being the case Reliefs 3, 4, and 6 are hereby struck out for lack of jurisdiction. Relief 5 is for damages for wrongful termination, having established that “any other form of removal not in accordance with the terms of the agreement connotes only wrongful termination or wrongful dismissal, which cannot be declared null and void. The only remedy available to an employee removed contrary to the terms of his employment is a claim for damages for the wrongful termination or wrongful dismissal. This is based on the notion that no servant can be imposed by the court on an unwilling master or employer even where the employer’s behavior towards the employee is wrongful. Thus, for the wrongful act of the employer, he is only liable to his wronged employee in damages and nothing more. UNION BEVERAGES LTD. v. OWOLABI (1988) 1 NWLR (PT. 68) 128 and UNION BANK OF NIGERIA LTD. v. OGBOH (1995) 2 NWLR (PT. 380) 647 @ 664.” – per Mohammed J.C.A. in OLANIFIMIHAN v. NOVA LAY-TECH LTD. SUIT NO. CA/B/120/97; (1998) 4 NWLR (PT. 547) 608 @ 620. The claimant is asking for N10, 000,000.00. the claimant has not told this court as to how he arrived at ten million Naira damages particularly as the law is well stated that “When a non-statutory appointment e.g Master and Servant is found to be wrongfully determined the remedy lies in damages. (The aggrieved party is only entitled to damages) UNION BECERAGES LRD Vs OWOLABI  1NWLR (Pt. 68. NNB VS OBEVUDIRI 3NWLR (Pt. 29) 387 and NNB Vs OSUNDE  9Nwlr (Pt. 566) 511@521E-F. And that as was held in ILUPEJU v. PZ CUSSONS NIGERIA (2014) 47 (PT. 152) 266 NIC @ 274, “Where an employee is able to establish that his appointment was wrongly terminated, he would be entitled to damages, and this would be what was due to him for the period of notice”. ISIEVWORE v. NEPA (2002) 13 NWLR (PT. 784) 417 SC referred to.] "It is well settled in a long line of decided cases that the remedy of an employee wrongly terminated or dismissed is to sue for damages, and the measure of damages is always the salaries for the length of time for which notice of termination could have been given in accordance with the contract of employment See OBO VS COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION BENDEL STATE (1993) 2 NWLR (PT. 273) 46, NIGERIAN PRODUCE; MARKETING BOARD. VS ADEWUNMI  LPELR 2033 SC and WESTERN NIGERIAN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION VS ABLMBOLA (1966) NMLR 381." PER AKPIROROH, J.C.A. (P. 14, paras. A-C) The contract or employment provides for two weeks’ notice and two months’ in lieu. In additional to the claimants’ allowances or entitlements to be proved the claimant is entitled two months salary as damages for wrongful termination. Only. Relief 7 is for an Order that the defendant pay #234, 20 only to the claimant. The claimants in paragraph 5 of his statement of fact and paragraph 6 of this amended statement on oath stated that the defendants are indebted to him to the tune of N234, 020.00 and pleaded the following breakdown (i) December 2009 N22, 000, 000.00 (ii) Deduction for taxes and pension including corresponding under the Pension Act. N148,000.00 (iii) Two months’ Salary in lieu N44, 000.00 (iv) Night prep 3rd term balance N4, 850.00 (v) Night prep 1st term (2009) N11, 700. 00 (vi) Unauthorized surcharge N3, 467.00 The claimant also claimed for tax deducted every month. That the Court should compel the defendant to refund to him as debt all monies deducted from his salary. The claimant led no evidence or tendered no exhibit to support these claims but stated in their initial process that the claimant relies on the Solicitors Letter, it is trite law that the letter of a solicitor is not evidence. Furthermore the claimant has not put before the court any law or agreement that makes him entitled to collect his taxes or the pension fund contributions in addition the claimant did not frontload his pay-slip in order for the Court to determine that these deductions were actually made by the defendant. In a claim for payments of salaries and other benefits, such salaries and other benefits must be specifically pleaded and proved. IHABUHMB Vs ANYIP 12NWLR (Pt.1260)1 The defendants in response in their paragraph 5 of the statement of Defence stated that @ Paragraph 5 of the statement of fact is hereby denies, the defendant is not indebted to the claimant in respect of the sums listed in paragraphs (i) to (iv) of the statement of fact save the outstanding pension contribution the sum of N62, 400.99 ….. The law of pleadings is that a party who does not admit any fact in the opposing party’s pleadings must specifically deny same. General or evasive denial does not amount to a denial. To constitute an effective and sufficient denial of an averment in the statement of claim or petition, the denial must be apt, precise, succinct, full and complete and not evasive, rigmarole, vague and bogus. See EL-TIJANI V. SAIDU  1 NWLR (PT. 268) 246. Also, a mere denial of a detailed, factual situation without attacking the veracity or authenticity of details contained therein is in law not a denial. See JACOBSON ENGINEERING LTD V. UBA LTD  3 NWLR (PT. 283) 586. A traverse that the “1st defendant denies paragraph 22 of the statement of claim but shall at the trial require the plaintiff to strictly prove the averments contained therein” does not amount to a denial for the purpose of raising an issue for trial. See LEWIS & PEAT (NRI) LTD V. AKHIMIEN  1 ALL NLR (PT. 1) 460, UBA LTD V. EDET  4 NWLR (PT. 287) 188, OHIARI V. AKABEZE  2 NWLR (PT. 221) 1 and LSDPC V. BANIRE  5 NWLR (PT. 243) 620. Furthermore, a general traverse to the effect that the defendant denies certain paragraphs of the statement of claim without making specific response to those paragraphs does not constitute sufficient denial and have been held to amount to admission. See DIKWA V. MODU  3 NWLR (PT. 280) 170 AND SANUSI V. MAKINDE  5 NWLR (PT. 343) 214. Further still, an averment in a statement of defence that the defendant puts the plaintiff to proof or does not admit the correctness of a particular allegation in the statement of claim without more has been held to be insufficient denial. See EKWEALOR V. OBASI  2 NWLR (PT. 131) 231 AND IDAAYOR V TIGIDAM  7 NWLR (PT. 377) 359. See also this Court’s decision IN MR. JEZREEL ELO MAYOR V. ECO EXIM ALLIED LIMITED & ANOR UNREPORTED SUIT NO. NICN/LA/651/2013 the judgment of which was delivered on October 29, 2014. From the foregoing I find that the defendants have not effectively denied the claimant’s pleadings in fact by the above authorities the defendants have admitted the claimants paragraph 5. This claim succeeds as far as the law permits. In relief 8 the claimant is seeking special damages for his household property which he claimed were destroyed or missing when the defendants in a bid to forcibly remove him from the accommodation on the 31st December, 2009, paid two mobile policemen to beat and throw his properties out, wherein he was hospitalized. The claimant claims for, as follows:- SPECIAL DAMAGES: On the 31st of December, 2009 defendants ordered the claimant to vacate the quarters, when the claimant appealed for his entitlement , defendants paid two mobile policemen to beat and throw his properties our wherein he was hospitalized and lost the following properties: 1.Toshiba V80 Laptop valued N96, 000.00 2.Handset valued N18,000.00 3. Claimant’s art portfolio containing rtworks each valued at amounting to N50,000.00 4.Cost of medical expenses N130,000.00 General damages of N10,000,000.00 only In support of these claim the claimant tendered some photographs of his house hold properties in their original state and not in the state after being thrown out to constitute evidence and a receipt for the Toshiba laptop Exhibit C12, the law is as was stated in the case of OVERLAND AIRWAYS LIMITED v. AFOLAYAN (2015) 52 NLLR (PT. 174) 214 NIC @ 224 Where it was held that “to be entitled to an award of special damages, the claimant must prove his entitlement to it by pleading same in his pleadings and particularizing the special damages as required by law…” MARINE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATE INC. & BADMUS v. KAMINE MARINE CONSULTANCY LTD. In the instant case not only has the claimant not proved special damage as there is no evidence that the claimant used a laptop, the sales invoice just represents its sale price not its value as pleaded, there was no evidence of the type and age of the claimant handset, the pieces of art listed would require expert evaluation to determine their value and no such valuation was tendered, and there was no documentation to back up the medical expenses, no Medical report, Bill for drugs and description of the medical treatment received. See the case of OBASUYI V. BUSINESS VENTURES LTD  5 NWLR (PT. 658) 668 AT 696 – 697 B – E, that it was held that – “A plaintiff has an obligation to plead and particularize any item of damage which represents out-of-pocket expenses, or loss of earnings, incurred prior to the trial, and which is capable of substantial exact calculation. Not only must special damages be carefully particularized, the evidence in support of them must be credible”. With the lack of supporting evidence for these claims I find these relief cannot be granted. Furthermore these claims also constitute a crime of malicious damage to property which by law required that prosecution commence before the claimant can approach the court for restitution following the law of SMITH Vs. SELWYN and there is nothing before the court to show that this has been done. Most importantly the actions complained of stem from the tenancy arrangement which this court lacks jurisdiction to try. This relief therefore fails. Relief 9 is for General damages of #10, 000, 000.00 only, the law is that A party is entitled to general damages if it is established that he has suffered an injury or a wrong has been committed against him. See EKEUZOR v. UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC (2014) 42 NLLR (PT. 133) 758 NIC But the claimant has not shown the court how he arrived at N10, 000.000 furthermore “Courts do not award general damages in actions founded on breach of contract of employment”. See the case of OVERLAND AIRWAYS LIMITED v. AFOLAYAN Supra. UNIVERSAL INSURANCE COMPANY LIMTED v. T.A. HAMMOND (1998) 9 NWLR (PT. 565) referred to.] As I stated above the damages due to the claimant is two months’ salary in lieu of notice. That is all. The 9th relief is that this court make an order that the said claims and all claimant’s entitlements due be paid through his solicitors with immediate effect. A similar relief was sought in the case of SUIT NO: NICN/IB/62/2012 MR. ADETOLA A. AYOKUNNU & 20 ORS Vs. SKYE BANK PLC delivered on the 19th December 2014 and this court held refusing the prayer that “the National Industrial Court, would not make an order to encourage champerty notwithstanding whatever agreement the claimants may have with their Counsel………the court will not make an order that borders on unprofessional conduct or be tantamount to an interpretation alluding to champerty”. This relief being sought here, I find, has implications of professional misconduct bordering on champerty and for that reason this court shall not grant this relief, this relief therefore fails, In all, for the reasons given, and for the avoidance of doubt, the claimant’s case succeeds in part and only in terms of the following – 1. It is declared that the claimant was duly confirmed by the conduct of the defendants and the defendants are stopped from treating the claimant as an unconfirmed officer. 2. It is hereby declared that the termination of the employment of the claimant is wrongful. 3. The defendants shall pay to the claimants the sum of Forty- Four Thousand Naira (N44, 000.00) being two months’ salary for improper notice 4. The defendants shall pay to the claimants the sum of Forty- Four Thousand Naira (N44, 000.00) being two months’ salary as damages for wrongful termination 5. The defendants shall pay all due pension deduction to the Pension Fund Administrator of the claimant within 30 days of this judgment. 6. The defendant shall pay to the claimant the sum of Eight-Six Thousand, and Seventeen Naira, (N86, 017.00) only being the defendants’ indebtedness to the claimant. All sum is to be paid within 30 days of this judgment, failing which it shall attract interest at 10% per annum until fully paid. Judgment is entered accordingly. I make no order as to cost. …………………………………… Honourable Justice E. N. Agbakoba Presiding Judge Calabar Division.