REPRESENTATIVE: C. T. AMUDA for the claimant with FRIDAY IBURU Esq. O, ODOGUN for the 1st defendant. JIBRIL SAIDU for the 2nd defendant. J U D G E M E N T The Claimant commenced this action on 14th January, 2016, accompanied by the frontloaded documents, against the defendants jointly and severally as follows: a. A declaration of the Hon Court that the actions of the defendants in dismissing/disengaging the Plaintiff in the manner they did without recourse to the terms of employment that stipulates .1 month notice or .1 month salary in lieu of notice is wrongful and illegal and constitutes a wrongful termination. b. An award of N20 million as general damages. c. An award of 10% interest per annum on the judgment sum from the date of judgment till same is fully liquidated. d. An award of N2 million as the cost of this suit. The 2nd defendant filed a MOTION ON NOTICE on 5th February, 2016 supported by a 4 paragraph affidavit deposed to by Sunday Ameh, praying the Court for AN ORDER of this Honourable Court dismissing this suit for lack of jurisdiction to entertain, hear and determine same. With the following GROUNDS FOR THE APPLICATION 1. The Claimantâ€™s action was not commenced within the statutory period provided by law, and thus the suit is statute barred. 2. The action having not been commenced within the statutory period provided by law is incurably defective, incompetent and this Honourable Court therefore lacks the jurisdiction to hear and determine same. 3. That it is expedient to dismiss this suit in limine in the interest of justice and to save the precious time of this Honourable Court. The defendants also filed a WRITTEN ADDRESS IN SUPPORT OF MOTION ON NOTICE with the Sole ISSUE Whether this Honourable has the jurisdiction to entertain this action that is statute barred. Learned Counsel JUbril Saidu, Esq Counsel to the 2nd defendants submitted that parties, as well as the Court are bound by the pleadings of the parties as placed before it and that a Court called upon to determine an application of this nature, is bound to look at the claimantâ€™s pleading and not necessarily any other processes. S.P.D.C of (Nig.) Ltd V. Sirpi-Alusteel Const. Ltd (2007) NWLR (Pt. 1067) 128 at page 151 paras D-E, per Rhodes Vivour, JCA (as he then was).He submitted that a Court is said to have jurisdiction and therefore competent to determine a suit when there is no feature in the case which prevents the Court from exercising its jurisdiction. Madukolu v. Nkemdilim (1962) SCNLR 341: Rossek v. ACB Ltd (1993) 8 NWLR (Pt. 312) 382; Apadi v Banuso (2008) 13 NWLR (Pt. 1103)204 215. It is counselâ€™s submission that actions founded on contract must be instituted within six years from when the cause of action arose, thus, that the delay in instituting the suit timeously is feature that has robbed this Honourable Court of jurisdiction to hear this suit. Section 7 (1) of the Limitation Act, Cap 522, Laws of FCT. Learned defence Counsel maintained that the event giving rise to this suit occurred on or about January 9, 2007 while this suit was filed on January 14, 2016. It follows therefore, that the Claimantâ€™s cause of action, if any, is extinguished by effluxion of time, leaving the Claimant with bare or empty cause of action which cannot be enforced. Egbe v. Adefarasin (1987) 1 NWLR (Pt.47)1@21para A,per Oputa, J.S.C. It is counselâ€™s submission that where the Court adjudges an action to be statute barred, the proper order is one of dismissal, not striking out. Nigerian Ports Authority Plc. v. Lotus Plastics Limited &Anor (2005) 19 NWLR (Pt. 959) 158 at F-G, per Mohammed, JSC. The claimant in response filed a CLAIMANTâ€™S WRITTEN REPLY ON POINT OF LAW TO THE DEFENDANTS NOTICE OF PRELIMINARY OBJECTION filed on 27th July, 2016. Leaned Counsel to the claimant C. T. Amuda Esq. submitted that although the defendants claim that the action is statute barred, there are however, exceptions to statute bar, which are: a. Malice b. Contract C. Continuing malice, continuing injury or continuing Negligence, Fraud. ACN & ANOR V. INEC & ORS (2013) LPELR -1999; EGBE V. ALHAJI (1990) 1 NWLR (PT.128) PAGE 546 OLALEYE FAJIMOLU V. UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN (2007) 2 NWLR (PT. 1017) PAGE 74. Claimantâ€™s Counsel submitted that the law is settled that malice is an exception to statute bar, and that since the Defendant is guilty of malice, it is obvious that Sec. 7(1) OF THE LIMITATION ACT CAP 522, LAWS OF FCT cannot avail them.On the meaning of malice, counsel referred the Court to the case of SUNDAY .D. BAYAM V JOB AGANA (2010) LPELR 9159, Per SAULAWA, J.C.A (PP. 22-23, PARAS. E-D). On the 7th March 2017 parties adopted their respective written addresses and adumbrated their positions accordingly. Courtâ€™s Decision Having carefully summarized the position 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 issue for determination in this suit to my mind is whether there is any merit to the 2nd defendantâ€™s application. Before I deal with the merit of this application both parties in making their submissions raised issues and argued fact pertaining to the substantive suit, particularly the conduct of the defendants, at this stage all the court can consider are the claimants pleadings (reliefs and statement of facts) this being a process that is being dealt with in limine, in that wise all the submissions as to the conduct of the defendants and the inference being alluded to are here by discountenanced for the purpose of this decision. The law is well settled that when the question of a matter being statue barred all the courtis required to do is look at the time the suit was commenced and compare this with the date the cause of action, in the case of AGBOROH v. WAEC (2014) 43 NLLR (PT. 134) 31 NIC @ 34 it was held that â€œthe determination of whether a suit is statute barred or not involves the determination of the date on which the cause of action arose and comparing same with the date on which the suit was filed. If the date on which the suit was filed shows that the claimant came outside the period within which he should have come to court, the suit will said to be statute barred. This comparison can be done without taking oral evidence from witnessesâ€ Now the Limitation Law, Laws of FCT Cap 522 2007, Section 7, provides that The following action shall not be brought after the expiration of six years from the date on which the cause of action was accrued. Action founded on simple contract Action founded on quasi contract. By POPOOLA ELABANJO V. CHIEF (MRS.) GANIAT DAWODU  6 â€“ 7 SC 24, the period of limitation in any limitation statute is determined by looking at the writ of summons and the statement of claim alleging when the wrong was committed which gave rise to the cause of action and by comparing that date with the date on which the writ of summons was filed. If the time on the writ of summons is beyond the period allowed by the limitation law, the action is statute-barred. And by OKENWA V. MILITARY GOVERNOR OF IMO STATE  6 NWLR (PT. 507) 154 AT 167, a cause of action accrues on the date on which the incident giving rise to the cause of action arose. The case of MRS. O. ADEKOYA V. FEDERAL HOUSING AUTHORITY  4 SC 167 went on to state that a cause of action arises the moment a wrong is done to the plaintiff by the defendant; and the wrong which is the basis of a dispute represents a factual situation which entitles the plaintiff to seek a remedy in a court of law by way of enforcement. To determine whether a case is statute-barred, recourse is to be had to the writ of summons and the statement of claimHASSAN V. ALIYU  17 NWLR (PT. 1223) 547 SC, to know when the wrong was committed and comparing the date with the date the writ of summons was filed. If the period is beyond that allowed then the action is statute-barred.UBN V. UMEODUAGU  13 NWLR (PT. 890) 35 In the instant case from the claimants compliant and reliefs I find that the crux of this case is the Dismissal /disengagement of the claimant without recourse to the terms of employment. and in averment 2 of the claimants statement of fact the claimant stated that â€œthe1st defendant had employed him as a dispatch rider, seconded to the 2nd defendant averment 3, and that the conditions of his employment were contained in his letter of employment averment 6, and that while at work he fell and collapsed, was rushed to hospital averment 8, and that while he was in hospital he was terminated (averment 10). In averment 12 he stated while he was in hospital he received the defendant letter dated 9th January 2007 terminating his appointment with effect from end of January 2007. From the forgoing I find that the cause of action is the termination of the claimantâ€™s employment in January 2007. A careful perusal of this courtâ€™s file reveals that the claimant instituted this suit on the 16th January 2016 which by simple mathematics is a period of (End of January 2007 â€“ 16 January 2016 =) of Eight (8) years, Eleven (11) months and Fifteen (15) days. Now section 7Limitation Law, Laws of FCT Cap 522 2007, gives a moratorium of six years which by application means that this suit was brought, Eight (8)years, Eleven (11) months and Fifteen (15) days â€“ 6 years limitation period = two (2)years, Eleven (11) months and Fifteen (15) days after the limitation period expired. The effect of the limitation law, byYARE V. NSWIC 5 â€“ 7 MJSC (PT. I) 1is that any action that is statute-barred removes the right of action, the right of enforcement and the right to judicial relief. â€œWhere the action is instituted outside the time so allotted by the statute, we say that the action so instituted is statute -barred and cannot be maintained since it robs the court of the jurisdiction to entertain and determine same.â€ INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION V OGBADIBO LOCAL GOVERNMENT & ORS. (2015) Legalpedia SC PYX5)PER W.S.N. ONNOGHEN, J.S.C.Also â€œI must state here that the limitation Law does generally either of two things; it either bars the remedy without extinguishing the right or bars the remedy and at the same time extinguishes the right. Whichever effect it has will depend on the particular statute. However there is a general consensus that all limitation laws have the effect of closing the doors of the court against the plaintiff'.â€ INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION V OGBADIBO LOCAL GOVERNMENT & ORS(Supra) PER S.GALADIMA, J.S.C Now having determined that the claimantâ€™s case was instituted outside the prescribed limitation period the next thing the Court is to do is consider if the matter falls within any of the known exceptions to the application of limitation laws. The claimant listed three exceptions Malice, Contract and Continuing injury, the reference to contract is a non issue as the limitation law in question specifically provides for contracts. And the claimants contract of employment I find falls within this classification. Now the claimant has proffered argument that their matter fails within the exceptions of continuing injury and malice. It must be noted that the definition of the phrase â€œcontinuance of the injuryâ€ by case law authorities means continuance of the â€œact which caused the injuryâ€ and not the injury itself. SeeOKAFOR V. AG, ANAMBRA STATE  FWLR (PT. 58) 1127 AT 1146 D â€“ G relying on the English Court of Appeal case of CARREY V. BERMONDSEY METROPOLITAN BOUROUGH COUNCIL  675 P. 447; 20 TLR 2, AMAMIWE V. THE LOCAL SCHOOL BOARD  2 NMLR 57 AT 58 and OBIEFUNA V. OKOYE  ALL NLR 357. Also in INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION V OGBADIBO LOCAL GOVERNMENT & ORS(Supra) it was held that â€œThe continuance of the damage or injury constitutes an exception to the general rule. It was held in: OBIEFUNA VS. OKOYE (1961) ALL NLR 357 @ 360 that: â€œContinuance of injury or damage means continuance of the legal injury and not merely continuance of the injurious effects of a legal injury. â€œSee also: OLAOSEBIKAN VS. WILLIAMS (1996) 5 NWLR (PT.449) 437 @ 456 â€” 457 D â€” H.â€ PER K.M.O.KEKERE-EKUN, J.S.C. In the instant case, the claimant is no longer in employment and so he cannot lay claim to the continuance of injury exception of the limitation laws as to claim the benefit of the Supreme Court decision inAG, RIVERS STATE V. AG, BAYELSA STATE & ANOR. With regard to the exception of malice, the position the law has been established in the cases ofRAHAMANIYYA UNITED (NIG.) LTD V. MINISTRY FOR FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY & ORS(2009) 43 WRN 124 CA @ 146; applying CHIGBU V. TONIMAS (NIG.) LTD  31 WRN 179;  9 NWLR (PT. 986) 189 SC AT 210, which by implication means that the propriety or otherwise of the act of the defendants is not a relevant consideration for the applicability of a limitation law. The case set downthat if an action against institution and organization is statute-barred having not been brought within the prescribed period, there will be no basis for investigating the conduct of the defendant which gave rise to the action. That the conduct of the defendant as to whether he was malicious or not is irrelevant in determining whether the cause of action is statute-barred also see EGBE V ADEFARASIN  14 WRN 57and AREMO II V. ADEKANYE  42 WRN 1 SC. Furthermore this court held in AGBOROH v. WAEC (Supra) that a claimant who suffered abuse of office and bad faith cannot just sit at home and wake up when he wants outside of the limitation period, come to court and then say because of the abuse of office and bad faith, the defendant cannot raise the defence of the limitation law. The cause of action itself is the abuse of office and bad faith. Litigating it must be within the time frame allowed by the law. Any other thing would be indulging an indolent litigant, the very thing that the limitation law is set to guard against. Unreported SUIT NO. NICN/LA/149/2014 AUPCTRE & ANOR Vs. NATIONAL THEATRE OF NIGERIA & ORS Delivered MAY 18, 2016. Have determined that this matter is statute barred and that the claimantâ€™s suit does not fall within any of the established exception the court is left with no option than to dismiss this suit as the court has been robbed of jurisdiction to entertain it due to limitation law. This case is hereby dismissed, I make no order as to costs. This is the judgement of the Court and it is hereby entered. ................................................. Hon. Justice E. N. Agbakoba Judge.