RULING. The Defendants/Applicants’ motion on notice was brought pursuant to Orders 17 Rule 1, 18 Rule 2 of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (Civil Procedure) Rules 2017, sections 97, 99 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, 2004 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the Court. The motion on notion is seeking for an order striking out this suit for want of jurisdiction. The grounds for seeking the order is as follows:- 1. The Claimants/Respondents failed to comply with the provision of sections 97 and 99 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act, 2004. 2. The Claimants/Respondents failed to exhaust the internal dispute resolution mechanism set out in Rule 28 of the Constitution of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENDASSAN) 2013. 3. The Conditions precedents to the exercise of the Court’s jurisdiction have not been fulfilled by the Claimants/Respondents. In support of this application is an 11 paragraphs affidavit, with three exhibits annexed as exhibits P1, P2 and IFO 1. In line with the Rules of this Court the Defendants/Applicants filed a written address and a reply on point of law. In moving this application Chief Solo Akuma, SAN, relied on all the averments contained in the affidavit in support and the exhibits attached thereto. Learned silk, adopted the written address filed along with the motion on notice as his argument on the application. In the written address Counsel identified a lone issue for determination, to wit; “Whether this Suit is not liable to be struck out due to the Respondent’s failure to fulfill the condition precedents to the exercise of the Court’s jurisdiction to entertain same.” It is the contention of Counsel that by this application, the Applicants are challenging the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court on the grounds that: a. The Claimants/Respondents failed to comply with the provisions of sections 97 and 99 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, 2004. b. The Claimants/Respondents failed to exhaust the internal dispute resolution mechanisms set out in Rule 28 of the Constitution of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) 2013. Counsel submitted that the above non-compliance by the Respondents and the failure to exhaust the internal dispute resolution mechanisms provided in the parties’ Constitution are conditions precedent to the exercise of the Court’s jurisdiction. Counsel further submitted that once a challenge to the jurisdiction of the court is raised, being a threshold issue, the court is called upon to first determine such issue one way or the other before proceeding to hear any other interlocutory application or even the substantive Suit. Counsel also submitted that the two distinct conditions precedent which have robbed off the jurisdiction of this Court to entertain this Suit. ON NON-COMPLIANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 97 AND 99 OF THE SHERIFFS AND CIVIL PROCESS ACT, 2004 Counsel contended that in the instant Suit, the address of service on the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Defendants as shown in the Originating Summons is PENGASSAN, Port Harcourt Zonal Office, Zone 24, Campbell Avenue (After Somitel Hotel) Off Peter Odili Road, Trans Amadi, Port Harcourt. It is the submission of Counsel that since the address of the above mentioned Defendants are outside the territorial jurisdiction of this court, the provisions of the Sheriffs and Civil Processes Act, 2004 as it affects the service and time of appearance of the affected Defendants must be complied with before this Court can assume jurisdiction over this Suit. Counsel submitted a look at the Originating Summons served on the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th, Defendants will reveal that the mandatory endorsement required by section 97of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, 2004 and the time limited by section 99 of the same Act for the appearance of all the Defendants were not complied with by the Claimants. It is further submitted that section 95 of the same Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, 2004 interpreted writ of summons to includes any writ or process by which a suit is commenced or of which the object is to require the appearance of any person against whom relief is sought in a suit or who is interested in resisting such relief. Counsel submitted by virtue of the provisions section 95 of Sheriff and Civil Process Act and the combine effect thereof, there is no doubt that this Suit that was commenced in this Court by Originating Summons is affected by the provisions of the Act. Counsel further submitted by virtue of sections 97 and 99 of the Act (supra), strict compliance to the provisions is mandatory and non-compliance to the said Act robs this Court of its jurisdiction to entertain this Suit. It is the contention of Counsel that a look at the Originating Summons will show that the Suit that was commenced on the 21st of June, 2017 did not bear any statutory endorsement as required by the law for the service outside jurisdiction of this Court. It is also an undisputable fact that the 30 days required by law for the Defendants to appear or respond to the Originating Summons is not indicated on the face of the Summons, the Motion for interlocutory injunction was fixed for hearing. It is submitted that the above non-compliance with the provisions of the Act is fatal to either the hearing of this Suit or the exercise of the Court’s jurisdiction to entertain same. To buttress his submission in respect of section 97 of the relevant Act, Counsel relied on the case of Bello v National Bank of Nigeria Ltd (1992) 6 NWLR pt. 246 p. 206 at 217-218. Also in the case of NPA v EYAMBA (2005) 12 NWLR pt. 939 p. 409 at 447-448 paras H-E, the Court of Appeal held, in respect of sections 97 and 99 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act as follows: “Firstly, by virtue of section 97 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, it is mandatory that a writ of summons for service outside jurisdiction must be endorsed to the effect that it is meant for service outside of the state where it had been issued. In the instant case, the required statutory notice was not endorsed on the writ of summons. The endorsement is part and parcel of the writ and without it, it is both defective and incompetent. The endorsement is not a procedural requirement that could be treated as an irregularity capable of being cured by the Registrar. See Chidobi v Ujieze (1994) 3 NWLR (Pt.496) 737. Secondly, by virtue of section 99 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, the period within which a defendant is required to answer before the court to a writ of summons served outside jurisdiction of a court shall not be less than 30 days after service of the writ of summons has been effected… Non-Compliance with section 99 of the Act is not a mere irregularity but a fundamental defect and it goes to the competent and jurisdiction of the court. A court can only be competent if among other things all the conditions precedent for its having jurisdiction are fulfilled. See Skenconsult Nig Ltd v Ukey (1981) 1 SC 6.” Counsel submitted that the provision of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act relating to endorsement on processes served outside jurisdiction and the time limited for the appearance of the Defendants served outside jurisdiction are the Act of the National Assembly and to that extent takes preeminence over any provisions of the Rules of this Honourable Court or any other rules of court which is subsidiary to the law made by the federal Legislature. It is therefore submitted that whatever be the provision of the Rules of this court as they relate to service or time of appearance, the provisions of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act take precedent. Counsel also relied on the of Independent Television/Radio v ESBIR (2015) 12 NWLR pt. 1474 p. 442 held at 467 paras F-G per Ogunwumiju as follows: “Thus, even though the Rules of court are to be followed, in cases whereby an Act of the National Assembly provides for a special procedure to be adopted by the courts in doing a thing, the Act of the National Assembly shall supersede the provisions of the High Court Rules. We must not lose sight of the fact that the High Court Rules are adjectival rules rather than substantive law and never supersede an enactment of the National Assembly.” See Clement v Iwuanyanwu (1989) 3 NWLR pt. 107 p. 39. Counsel submitted that failure to comply with the statutory provisions of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act has rendered the Claimants’ Suit incompetent and has also robbed this Court of the jurisdiction to hear this Suit. ON FAILURE TO EXHAUST THE INTERNAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION MECHANISMS SET OUT IN RULE 28 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF PENGASSAN 2013. Counsel referred the Court to the provisions of Rule 28 of the PENGASSAN Constitution, 2013, which provides that all internal dispute in the association shall be subject to internal Dispute Resolution process ascertained in schedule 3. Counsel submitted that there is no doubt that the Constitution of PENGASSAN is the authentic document by which the members are bound and governed. It is submitted that the Claimants are bound by the provisions relating to the internal dispute resolution and therefore they, as members of the Association are bound to exhaust the internal dispute resolution mechanism as provided by the Constitution of PENGASSAN before seeking this Court’s intervention. Counsel further submitted that in the Claimants’ Further Affidavit in support of their Application for interlocutory Injunction filed on the 6th of July, 2017, the Claimants attached a letter, Exhibit B, written by the 1st Claimant to the NEC through the General Secretary dated 14th June, 2017. The said letter was responded to by the General Secretary on the 23rd of June, 2017 which was attached to the Further Affidavit as Exhibit C. From the content of Exhibit C, the General Secretary assured the 1st Claimant that “based on the provision of the Constitution on Schedule 3.4 concerning Internal Dispute Resolution, your matter shall be presented to the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting for deliberation and resolution.” Counsel submitted that the right of the Claimants to seek this Court’s intervention is subject to Rule 28 of the PENGASSAN Constitution which guides and regulates the activities of the members of the Association. It is submitted that since the said Constitution is the document that regulates and controls the acts and conducts of the parties in this suit, the Claimants lack the power and capacity to institute this action without first of all utilizing the provisions of their Constitution which provided for an alternative dispute resolution mechanism before a member can seek the intervention of this court. This is because they are bound by the Constitution governing the rules and regulations of the 1st Defendant of which they are all members. On this submission Counsel relied on the case of Mbanefo v Molokwu (2014) 6 NWLR Pt. 1403 377, the Supreme Court reiterated the biding nature of the of constitution of an association for which a member freely and voluntarily entered and became a member. It is the contention of Counsel that as it stands, the NEC has not met to deliberate on the matter presented by the 1st Claimant, neither has NEC reached a resolution on same before the Claimants sought the intervention of this Court in total disregard to the Constitution of PENGASSAN by which all of the parties are bound and on which the Claimants have made several references to in all the processes they have filed in this Court. It is submitted that the Claimants cannot violate, neglect, breach and overlook a provision of the PENGASSAN Constitution which provided for an alternative dispute resolution mechanism while at the same time seek to enforce the provisions of the same Constitution. It is further submitted that resort to the PENGASSAN’s internal disputes resolution mechanism as provided in the PENGASSAN Constitution is a condition precedent to the exercise of this Court’s jurisdiction and the failure to exhaust the said resolution mechanism rendered the whole Suit incompetent. It is also submitted that for a court to exercise jurisdiction on any matter, all the conditions for the exercise of the court’s decision must co-exist otherwise such a court cannot be competent to hear the matter. It is submitted by Counsel that the utilization of the internal dispute resolution mechanisms provided in Rule 28 of PENGASSAN Constitution first before resorting to this court is a condition that must be ab initio harnessed before a party can have the locus standi to approach the conventional court since each and every member of the Association is bound by the said Constitution. May we further submit that it is the duty of the court to abide by the rules and regulations duly made by members of an association in the exercise of their constitutional right of freedom of association. Counsel submitted in the case of Mbanefo v Molokwu (supra), the Supreme Court, while emphasizing that courts shall not interfere with the rules and regulations made by an association held at page 409-410 paras D-B as follows: “…I would like to apply the principle as enunciated in the case of Alhaji Balarabe Musa v People Redemption Party (PRP) (1981) 2 NCLR 763 at 769 per Adefarasin, CJ: ‘The court would not interfere in a case like this one where members of a voluntary association have come to a decision within the provisions of their constitution even if the decision is unreasonable. Circumstances have not arisen by which the court ought to intervene… As voluntary associations, it has the right to lay down its own decisions even when they are unreasonable. That should be obeyed or the member in disobedience is entitled to quit. The party is in its own right supreme over its own affairs. This must be said loudly and clearly, unless it has violated its own constitutional provisions, the court would not interfere. The court will not substitute its own will for that of a political party or any other voluntary association. Those who join clubs, or associations or political parties must be made aware of the perils of membership. The majority will must prevail whether it is reasonable \or unreasonable.” Counsel further submitted that based on the principle adopted by the Supreme in the above cited case, it is submitted that Claimants’ the legal capacity to approach this Court is in total neglect, violation and disregard to the PENGASSAN Constitution which has provided otherwise. It is submitted that PENGASSAN Constitution, being the supreme regulator of the members acts and conducts, the Claimants are legally and contractually bound to exhaust the internal dispute resolution mechanisms provided by their Constitution and the attempt to violate the said Constitution rendered the whole process filed in this Court incompetent and this Court is enjoined not to hear this Suit as doing so will amount to interference with the rules and regulations of the 1st Defendant of which all the parties herein, including the Claimants are bound. Counsel contended our case law has provided a parameter with which a court can determine whether or not it has jurisdiction to entertain a Suit. In the often cited case of Madukolu & Ors v Nkemdirim (1962) 2 NSCC p. 374; (1962) 2 SCNLR 341, (1962) 1 All NLR 587 at 594, the Supreme Court per Bairamian, JSC held that: “A court is competent when: (1) it is properly constituted as regards numbers and qualifications of the members of the Bench, and no member is disqualified for one reason or another, (2) the subject matter of the case is within its jurisdiction, and there is no feature in the case which prevents the Court is from exercising its jurisdiction; and (3) the case before the Court is initiated by due process of law and upon fulfillment of any condition precedent to the exercise of jurisdiction. Any defect in the competence is fatal for the proceedings are nullity however well conducted and decided; the defect is extrinsic to the adjudication.” It is submitted by Counsel that this Suit is caught up by the 3rd condition to the exercise of this Court’s jurisdiction as the conditions precedent to the exercise of the Court’s jurisdiction have not been fulfilled by the Claimants before instituting this Suit. It is submitted that the failure to comply with sections 97 and 99 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act and the failure to exhaust the internal dispute mechanism as provided by the PENGASSAN Constitution have rendered this Suit incompetent and we urge the Court to decline jurisdiction and strike out this Suit for want of jurisdiction. It is the submission of Counsel that it is very trite and fundamental that any matter conducted by a court without jurisdiction is a nullity, no matter how well conducted. It is submitted that in our adversarial system of adjudication, the question of jurisdiction is very fundamental that whenever it is raised, a Court of law or better put, a presiding judge must pause and consider whether there is any legal power authorizing him to adjudicate in the matter otherwise he is enjoined to decline jurisdiction and strike out the Suit for want of jurisdiction. Counsel referred to Isah v INEC & 3 Ors (2014) 1-2 SC Pt. IV pg. 101 at 160 and the case of Yar’adua v Yandoma (2015) 4 NWLR Pt. 1448 Pg. 123, and submitted that where a statute or rules of court prescribe a condition precedent to the assumption of jurisdiction, that condition precedent must first be fulfilled before there is jurisdiction. A case must therefore come become the court only when initiated by due process of law and upon fulfillment of any condition precedent to the exercise of jurisdiction. Counsel urged this Honourable Court to strike out this Suit on the strength of this Motion as the conditions precedent to the exercise of the Court’s jurisdiction have not been fulfilled. In concluding argument Counsel submitted that since the Claimants did not comply with sections 97 and 99 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act and also Rule 28 of the PENGASSAN Constitution, this Suit is incompetent and the Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain same. Counsel urged the Court to strike out this Suit. In opposing this application the Claimants/Respondents filed a 14 paragraphs affidavit with a written address. In advancing argument in opposition to this application Miss. Abiodun Akanni, Counsel for the Defendants relied on all the paragraphs of the counter-affidavit and adopted the written address as argument on the application. In the written address Counsel identified one issue for determination to wit; ‘‘whether in the circumstances of this case, the Claimants Application ought to be refused’’. On section 97 and 99 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act, Counsel submitted that the territorial jurisdiction of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria is both statutory and Constitutional. The Court exercise jurisdiction over the entire Federation of Nigeria and for this purpose, the president is empowered to create judicial divisions across the federation. Counsel referred to section 21(1) of the National Industrial Court Act 2006 to support his assertion. Counsel submitted that judicial divisions are established for administrative convenience and not to create separate jurisdictions of the Court. Counsel place reliance on Order 2 Rule 1 of the National Industrial Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2017. Counsel submitted leave of Court is not required to issue or serve originating process. Counsel also relies on Order 7 Rule 15(1) & (2) of the Rules of this Court. It is further submitted that sections 97, 99 and 100 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act, are not applicable to this Court and to its processes and therefore, the issue of non-compliance with the said sections 97 and 99, is misconceived. On this submission Counsel relied on OLAMIJU V LOCAL GOVERNMENT SERVICE COMMISSION EKITI STATE (Un reported ruling in suit Np. NICN/LA/157/2011, delivered on 5th March 2012), NWANKWO & ORD V FEDERAL COLLEGE OF EDUCATION (Technical) UMUNZE & ORS. (Unreporteed) Suit No. NIC/EN/44/2011, delivered on 7th August 2012; ABIODUN V THE GOVERNING COUNCIL, OYO STATE (2011) NLLR (Pt.62) 317 @ 349., WODI V DIFFERENTIAL ALUMINIUM AND STEEL COMPANY (2014) 42 NNLR (Pt.129) 29 @ 83-86. Counsel submitted that the provisions of section 21 of the NIC Act 2006 being an Act of National Assembly will prevail in this case. Counsel also submitted that the Defendants have not shown how injustice has been done to them regarding the notice of 14 days required of them to answer to this suit. ON PENGASSAN CONSTITUTION AND INTERNAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION MECHANISM, counsel submitted there is nothing to rob this Court of jurisdiction in this case. Counsel further submitted that in determining whether Court has jurisdiction, it is the claim of the Claimants that will be considered. Counsel submitted in this case the Claimants’ originating summons is for interpretation and construction vis-à-vis. The event that happened after the conduct of the Portharcourt Zonal executive election on 25/5/17 and by virtue of section 254C(1) (j) (iv) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended), the National industrial Court has jurisdiction to interpret and apply the provisions Constitution of the Trade Unions and association relating to employment labour and industrial relations. Counsel contended that the right to approach Court for redress is a constitutional right and Rule 28 of the 1st Defendants internal resolution mechanism is not a statute or law that can derogate from it. To buttress this argument Counsel cited section 6(6) (b) of the Constitution as amended. It is the contention of Counsel that judicial powers of the Courts shall extend to all maters between persons or between government or authority, and any person in Nigeria and to all actions and proceedings relating thereto, for the determination of any question regarding the Civil rights and Obligations relating thereto, for the determination of any question regarding the Civil rights and obligations of the complainant. It is the submission of Counsel that he who comes to equity must come with clean hands. Counsel further submitted that there was no cancellation of election conducted at Portharcourt Zonal Delegate Conference Elections held in Owerri on 25th May 2017, which was in line with 1st Defendant’s Constitution. Counsel also submitted an illegal CWC meeting came up with purported resolution of 10th June 2017, replacing the Claimants with those who lost elections. Counsel contended that the Defendants who did not apply the provisions of the Constitution in Claimants case, now seeks to use the same constitutional provisions to stop the Claimants from approaching Court for justice. Counsel submitted the Defendants failure to file counter-affidavit to the originating summons amount admitting all the facts deposed in the supporting affidavit. Counsel submitted that the Defendants have admitted that the Claimants have written letter dated 14/7/17 before approaching this Court on 21/6/17. Counsel also submitted that the said NEC/NDC was held on 29/7/17 and without hearing any of the Claimants and despite the pendency of this suit decided to fix a re-run of the election already won by the Claimants. Counsel also contended that the Defendants desecrated the sacrosanct provisions of the Constitution by purporting to suspend Claimants without following the Disciplinary procedure for the only offence of approaching the Court in pursuit of their constitutional rights. It is the submission of Counsel that the case of MBANEFO V MOLOKWU (supra) cited by the Defendants in support of their arguments is distinguishable and not applicable in this instant case. Counsel contended that to hold that the Claimants right to seek redress in Court is subject to Rule 28 of the PENGASSAN Constitution, 2013 will be contrary to the cardinal twin principles of fair hearing ‘‘audi Alteram Partern’’ meaning hear the other party’ and ‘’Nemo Judex In causa sua’’ meaning no one should be a judge in his own case’’ enshrined in section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended). Counsel submitted by Rule 3.8 of the 1st Defendant’s internal dispute resolution mechanism at schedule 3 of its 2013 Constitution, the decision of the NDC is final, thus, why it became necessary to approach the Court in the interest of justice so as not offend the rule of natural justice by asking the NDC (judge) sit over its own case. Counsel submitted that circumstances abound for which the intervention of court is necessary. Counsel cited NULGE V KINGSLEY UGO OGAB & ORS. (2013) 38 NLLR (Pt.117) 235 @ 273, where it was held that Court would enable a party when dispute taken to organs within the same organization would offend the rules of natural justice by putting such organs in a position in which they would be judges in their own cause. In concluding his submission Counsel urged the Court to dismiss the application of the Defendants with substantial cost in the interest of justice as there is nothing to rob this Court of jurisdiction in the matter. REPLY ON POINT OF LAW In reply on points of law Counsel for the Defendants/Applicants submitted that the contention of Counsel for the Claimants/Respondents on sections 97 and 99 of Sheriff and Civil Process Act is misconceived. According to Counsel there is significant difference between the substantive jurisdiction of a Court and the procedural jurisdiction of Court which is jurisdiction as it relates to practice and procedure of individual Courts. It is the contention of Counsel that the substantive jurisdiction of this Court is only in respect of subject matter it can entertain which are labour related and employment matters and which this Court enjoys exclusive jurisdiction as the Court of first instance on those matters. Counsel further submitted that from the provisions of the constitution, as amended, the National Industrial Court Act 2006 and the Sheriff and Civil Process Act, the National Industrial Court of Nigeria is subject to the provisions relating to practice and procedure as provided for under the Sheriff and Civil Process Act. To buttress his submission Counsel referred the Court to the provisions of sections 254D, 254F (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended), section 12 of National Industrial Court Act 2006. Counsel submitted the constitution that confers jurisdiction on the National Industrial Court did not create it to be far and above High Court but must have the same power as the High Court. It is also the contention of Counsel that the practice and procedure to be made by the National Industrial Court are required to be made subject to the provision of any Act of the National Assembly, which Act in the circumstance is Sheriff and Civil Process Act. It is further submitted by the provisions of section 12(1) of the National Industrial Court Act 2006 the practice and procedure of the Industrial Court is not only regulated by the Rules of Court but any other Act, which in the instant case is Sheriff and Civil Process Act. Counsel submitted while the court exercise its distinct exclusive jurisdiction as conferred by law, it is also subjected to the rules and procedures provided by the Sheriff and Civil process Act in the way and manner High Courts are subjected to. Counsel cited section 94 of the Sheriff and Civil process Act, where making of Rules of Court by all Superior Court of first instance and magistrate Court are made subject to the provision of Sheriffs and Civil Process Act which permitted the said courts to make Rules of Court with respect to some identified matters. Counsel submitted that section 21(1) of the National Industrial Court Act 2006 only provided for how the National Industrial Court can exercise its jurisdiction throughout the whole federation in respect of the subject matter for which it has jurisdiction to entertain, the section does not affect the provisions of sections 97 and 99 of Sheriff and Civil Process Act. Counsel referred to the case of OWNERS OF MV ARABELLA V NAIC (2008) 211 NWLR (pt.1097) 182. Counsel also referred to unreported case of Court of Appeal NIGERIA MARITIME ADMINISTRATION & SAFETY AGENCY & ANOR> V NOBLE DRILLING NIGERIA LTD (unreported decision of the Court of Appeal, suit No. CA/L/864/2009; judgment delivered on the 5th day of December 2013), where the provisions of sections 96, 97, 98 and 99 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act, were held to be applicable to originating summons issued at Federal High Court. Counsel submitted that the decision of these cases are on all fours with the case at hand and this Court is expected to follow same rather than the decision in the cases cited by the Respondents which are not binding this Court for the courts of coordinate jurisdiction, where it was held that courts of similar or concurrent jurisdiction are not bound to follow the decision of each other also cited in support of this is case of KALU V FRN & 2 ORS. (2016) 1-3 SC (pt.1) 162. Counsel referred to the case of UWAZURIKE V AG FEDERATION (2008) 10 NWLR (Pt.1096), counsel urged the Court not to follow the decision cited by the Claimants in paragraphs 3.4 and 3.5 in the written address of the Claimants because according to counsel the decision were given per incurian, as the judges did not advert their mind to the decision in OWNERS OF MV ARABELLA V NAIC (supra). Counsel urged the Court to in line with doctrine of stare decisis follow the two decisions of the Court of Appeal and Supreme and hold that the Claimants suit is incompetent and this Court lacks jurisdiction to hear same. ARDO V NYAKO (2014) 10 NWLR (Pt.1416) 591. In Response on PENGASSAN Constitution and internal dispute resolution mechanism, Counsel submitted that the jurisdiction being challenged by the Applicants is in respect of non-fulfillment of the condition precedent to the exercise of this Court’s jurisdiction and not on the subject matter of this suit. Thus, according to Counsel the question of examining the originating processes to know if the Court has jurisdiction does not arise. On this submission Counsel relied on the case MADUKOLU V NKENDLIM (1962) 2 NSCC 374; AMADI V NNPC (2000) 10 NWLR (Pt.674) 76. Counsel also submitted that Rule 28 of the PENGASSAN Constitution does not in any way derogate the provision of section 6(6) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended). Counsel submitted parties may by agreement submit themselves first to any alternative dispute resolution mechanism before resorting to the conventional court and be bound by such agreement. When such is made law by the association, it becomes binding on them and no member shall be allowed to resort to Court without first exhausting the internal dispute mechanism. Counsel referred to BAMISILE V OSASUYI (2007) 9 NWLR (Pt.1042) 225. Counsel submitted that Rule 28 being a resort to alternative dispute resolution does not in any way oust the jurisdiction of the court or preclude the Respondents’ from seeking redress in court in the exercise of their right of action, but only suspend the right of action before exhausting alternative dispute resolution. Counsel referred to AWOSILE V SOTUMBO (1992) 5 NWLR (Pt 243) 514 and OLANIYI V OLAYIOYE (2014) ALL FWLR (Pt.745) 363 and submitted that it is clear from these authorities that parties, either by agreement or by the constitution of their members, agree that a non-judicial body will firstly settle their disputes, they are bound by such agreement of internal law and such agreement does not derogate section 6(6) (b) of the constitution or oust the jurisdiction of the court. Counsel submitted that the Claimants did not utilize the dispute mechanism provided by the association consequently, any alleged bias, favouratism or breach of principle of natural justice is speculative and conjecture and court of law do not act on speculation but only on matters brought before them in the most clear and unequivocal terms and upon fulfillment of any condition precedent. On this submission Counsel relied on EGESIMBA V ONUZURUIKE (2002) 9-19SC 1. Counsel contended that the case of MBANEFO V MOLOKWU (supra) is applicable in this suit and the fact that schedule 3.8 to the PENGASSAN Constitution provides that decision of the National Delegate Conference is final does not mean that it is unappelable to the appropriate conventional court. See case of OLANIYI V OLAYIOYE (supra) where the court held that a decision being final means that it is binding. It is the submission of Counsel that this Court is not bound by the decision in NULGE V KINGSLEY UGO & ORS. (Supra) or any decision of the Court or any other Courts of coordinate jurisdiction. Counsel urged the Court to discountenance the submission of the Defendants and hold that this action is incompetent due non-compliance with sections 97 and 99 of Sheriff and Civil Process Act and non-compliance with condition precedent. COURT’S DECISION: I have carefully and painstakingly perused the content of the motion on notice as well as the affidavit in support and the counter-affidavit filed in opposition to the motion on notice. I have equally read the written addresses of Counsel for both sides and listened to oral submissions of Counsel for and against the grant of this application. Each of the Counsel formulated one issue for determination of this application. However, I shall formulate two issues which I feel can adequately dispose of this application, to wit: 1. ‘‘whether the provisions of sections 97 and 98 of Sheriff and Civil Process Act can operate to deny this Court with competence to entertain this suit’’ 2. ‘‘whether or not the provision of Rule 28 of the PENGASSAN Constitution can operate to serve as a condition precedent to exercise of jurisdiction’’. ISSUE ONE In his submission before the Court as well as contained in the written Address, Chief Sola Akuma, SAN, contended that this suit is incompetent due to non-compliance of the Originating Summons to have endorsement in line with sections 97 and 98 of the Sheriff and Civil process Act. Counsel contended that the provisions are mandatory. Noncompliance has rendered this suit in competent and deprived this Court of jurisdiction to entertain same. For Abiodun Akanni, Esq; Counsel for the Claimants, the provisions of sections 97 and 98 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act, are not applicable in this case. Counsel insisted that section 21 of the National Industrial Court Act 2006 has created this Court with jurisdiction throughout the federation. Consequently, the originating Summons is properly before the Court and there is nothing to divest this Court of jurisdiction to hear and determine this case. With the position taken by Counsel for both parties, the issue for determination by the Court has been zeroed down to the issue of whether the National Industrial Court of Nigeria is one of the Courts cognizable or contemplated to apply the provisions of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act. This can be ascertained by proper interpretation of the word ‘‘Court’’ envisaged by the Sheriff and Civil Process Act. To this end I turn to the meaning given to the word ‘Court’ in the Sheriff and Civil Process Act. Therefore, the starting point in resolution of this issue is to look at the interpretation as provided in the Act itself, to see to which Court the Act applies. What comes to mind are sections 2 and 19 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act, which are relevant in resolving the issue. In section 2 the word ‘court’ is defined in the section to include ‘a High Court and a Magistrate Court’’. The definition given of the word ‘‘Court’’ is very clear and unambiguous. In interpretation, it is well settled principle of construction of statutes that where a section names specific things among many others possible alternatives, the intention is that those not named are not intended to be included. Expression unius est exclusion alterius. See AG BENDEL STATE V AIDEYAN ((1989) 4 NWLR (PT.646). the express mention of one thing in a statutory provision automatically excludes any other which otherwise would have applied by implication with regard to the same issue. See also MILITARY GOVERNOR ONDO STATE V ADEWUNMI (1988) 3 NWLR (Pt.82) 280. It is clear that the unambiguous provision of section 2 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act has recognized High Courts and Magistrates Court as the Courts to which the entire provisions of the Act applies to. To bring the National Industrial Court of Nigeria within the definition given by section 2 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act will do violence to the section and Court are enjoined not impute or expand the provisions of a statute which is not part of the Court function. That will amount to legislation or amendment of law that is within the province of the Legislature, it should be left to the legislature alone. The Court function is only to declare and expound the law. It is well established principle of interpretation of statutes, and indeed the Constitution that where the definition section, therein has defined a particular word or expression, the meaning so given to the word, unless the context otherwise requires, shall be used throughout that statute. KALU V ODILI (1992) NWLR (Pt.340), OLARENWAJU V GOVERNOR OYO STATE (1992) NWLR (Pt.265) 335. It is pertinent to point out here that section 19(1) of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act also defined ‘’court’’ to includes the High Court and a Magistrate’s Court’’. In the same section ‘’the High Court’’ means the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja or of the State. It is without any doubt that the interpretation of the word ‘’Court’’ as given in sections 2 and 19(1) of the Sheriff and other Process Act does not include National Industrial Court of Nigeria. This view is strengthened when the caption of the heading of Part VII of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act, which read; ‘‘Service of the Process and Enforcement of the Judgments of the Courts of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja and the States throughout Nigeria’’. This heading under which the provisions of sections 97 and 99 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act, were provided clearly and unambiguously, shows that the provisions were meant to apply to Courts of the Federal Capital Territory and State High Courts. The application of the provisions of sections 97 and 99 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act does not extend to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, having regard to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria’s territorial Jurisdiction which is throughout the Federation. See section 21(1) National Industrial Court Act 2006. To buttress this point a State High Court is suffixed by the particular state where it is situated, e.g. High Court of Kaduna State, High Court of Imo State etc. while the National Industrial Court of Nigeria is suffixed by the entity ‘Nigeria’ thus, why it is called National Industrial Court of Nigeria. See also 254A, of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended). To this extent the provisions of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act is not intended by the legislature to apply to National Industrial Court of Nigeria, in view of the Court’s federal territorial jurisdiction. See ONAGORUWA V ADENIJI (1993) 5 NWLR (PT.293)317 @ 334-335. The Defendants Counsel place heavy reliance on the case of OWNERS OF MV ARABELLA V NAIC (supra) and that of NIGERIA MARITIME ADMINISTRATION & SAFETY AGENCY & ANOR. V NOBLE DRILLING NIGERIA LIMITED, unreported (supra), in pressing for this Court to hold that the provisions of sections 97 and 99 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act, applies to this case. I agree with learned Counsel for the Defendants that the doctrine of stare decisis require this Court to be bound by the decisions of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, respectively. This is a duty imposed without discretion. In fact I am bound by these decisions. But, in the case at hand the two cases are distinguishable with this case, in that in those cases it was the Federal High Court Rules 2000 that were considered along with provisions of Sheriff and Civil Process Act. It is to be noted here that the Rules of Federal High Court considered in the two cases are not the same with the Rules applicable to this Court. By order 7 Rule 15(1) of the National Industrial Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2017, the Court has one jurisdiction throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the judicial Divisions were created only for adjudicatory and administrative convenience, to ease access to the Court. Consequently, any originating process issued by the Court can be served on any party anywhere in Nigeria. The provisions of Order 7 Rule 15(1) & (2) of the Rules of this Court were made to compliment the provisions of section 21(1) of the National Industrial Court Act 2006. It is pertinent to refer to Order 7 Rule 16, which provides that all originating processes or other processes filed by any party before the Court which arte to be served on any other party outside the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be with leave of the Court. From the provisions of this Rule it is undoubtedly clear that that the phrase ‘‘out of jurisdiction’’ means out of Nigeria not out of Division in a State where processes were issued. This also affirmed the position that the Court has one jurisdiction that is the whole Federation. To maintain that a process issued out from one Division of the Court for service on a party at another State within Nigeria must comply with the provisions of section 97 and 99 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act is akin to insisting that an originating process issued from one Division of a State High Court meant for service on a party in another Division of the same High Court within the same State must also comply with the provisions of sections 97 and 99 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act. It is also clear that the above Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal cases being relied upon by the Applicants, in those cases the provision of section 21 of the National Industrial Court Act 2006, was never in issue nor was it considered. The provision of section 21 is a special provision peculiar to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria. Furthermore, the National Industrial Court Act is latter statute enacted by the National Assembly to delineate the entire country to serve as the territorial area of jurisdiction of this Court. Consequently, it supersedes the provisions of Sheriff and Civil Process Act in so far as it is valid in respect of National Industrial Court of Nigeria. From the foregoing, elucidation, I have no doubt in my mind that the two cases in which provisions of sections 97 and 99 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act, were considered by the two Appellate Courts are not applicable to this case, since the definition section of Sheriff and Civil Process Act, did not contemplate or include the National Industrial Court of Nigeria. Furthermore section 21 of the National Industrial Court Act which deals with territorial jurisdiction of the National Industrial Court was never considered in those cases. See also ONAGORUWA V ADENIJI (1993) 5 NWLR (PT.293)317 @ 334-335, where Tobi, JCA (of blessed memory, as he then was) extensively consider the definition of the word ‘court’ in the Sheriff and Civil Process Act. The Counsel for Defendants has also made copious submissions regarding the provisions of sections 254D, 254F (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended) and section 12 of the National Industrial Court Act 2006. Those provisions are not helpful to the stand point of the Defendants. The provisions of section 254D is very clear, it relates to the subject matter of jurisdiction of the Court as donated to the Court by the Constitution or as may be conferred on it by an Act of the National Assembly. This simply means that more jurisdictions can be conferred on the Court by Act of the National Assembly. The powers of High Court means power to make prerogative orders. On section 254F the president has made Rules governing practice and procedure of the Court. The practice and procedure referred to in section 12 of the National Industrial Court Act 2006, cannot be interpreted to mean Sheriff and Civil Process Act, the reason being that Sheriff and Civil Process Act did not contemplate National Industrial Court, it only contemplated High Courts and Magistrates Courts. In view of the reasons advanced above I hold that section 97 and 99 does not apply to this case. Issue one is resolved against the Defendants. ISSUE TWO The Counsel for the Defendant submitted that Rule 28 of the Constitution of PENGASSAN will operate as a condition precedent which must be fulfilled by any member of the union before approaching a Court of law for redress or ventilation of his grievance. Counsel contended that the Rule is an alternative dispute resolution mechanism which all the members of the union are bound by as a contract for the union and no member shall be permitted to violate it. The Claimants on the other hand insisted that the provisions of the Rule violated the rule of natural justice as the Defendants will be judges in their own cause. It is pertinent to point out here that a law which prescribes condition that have to be fulfilled or complied with before a person can commence or institute legal proceedings against anybody or person does not constitute a denial to access to the court by anyone wishing to do so and is not unconstitutional or inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution see Madukolu V Nkendillim (1962) 1 All NLR 587, this case decided that any condition precedent to the exercise of jurisdiction of a Court must be fulfilled. In other words, where a statute provide for a condition precedent to the commencement of an action, failure or neglect to fulfilled or complied with the condition will deny the Court jurisdiction to hear the matter. In Saude V Abdallah (1989) 4 NWLR (pt.116) 387, the Supreme Court held that proceeding before a Court of law will be regarded as a nullity where the case before the court was not initiated by due process of law, or that there is a condition precedent to the exercise of jurisdiction. The Court also held that there is non-compliance with due process of law when the procedural requirements have not been complied with, or the preconditions for the exercise of jurisdiction have not been complied with. In such a circumstance, the defect is fatal to the competence of the trial Court to entertain the suit. This is because the Court will in such a situation not be seized with jurisdiction in respect of the action see Abakaliki Local Government Council V Abakaliki Mils Owners Enterprises of Nigeria (1990) 6 NWLR (Pt 155) 182 @ 190. The University of Ife V Fawehinmi Construction Co Ltd (1991) 7 NWLR (Pt 201) 26 @ 37 and 38, Nigerian Cement Company V Nigeria Railway Corporation &Anr. (1992) 1 NWLR (Pt. 220) 747 @761, Anambra State Government V Nwankwo & Ors. (1995) 9 NWLR (Pt. 418) 245 @ 256 and 257. It is patently clear from the foregoing authorities that for a Court of law to be competent to exercise jurisdiction over a matter all conditions precedents to exercise of jurisdiction must be fulfilled. This has not been disputed by the parties in this case. The only area of dispute is that to the Defendants/Applicants the provision of Rule 28 of the PENGASSAN Constitution has imposed condition precedent to be fulfilled before an action can be commenced by the Claimant. While the Claimants/Respondents on their part are contending that the so called condition precedent is not a condition precedent it is a provision in violation of the Rule of natural justice which prohibit a party to be a judge in his own case. Consequently, it is null and void and of no effect whatsoever. For proper appreciation of the position of law, it is pertinent at this juncture to consider the proper meaning of the word condition and the words condition precedent. In Orakul Resources Ltd V N. C. C. (2007) 16 NWLR (Pt. 1060) 270 @ 307, the Court of Appeal define ‘’condition’’ to mean ‘’ a provision which makes the existence of a right dependent on the happening of an event; the right is then conditional as opposed to an absolute right. A true condition is where the event on which the existence of the right depend is in the future and uncertain’’. In the same case condition precedent was defined as ‘’one on which delays the vesting of a right until the happening of an event’’. Having defined condition precedent it is appropriate to examine the provisions of Rule 28 of the PENGASSAN Constitution 2013 in order to appreciate and discern if the provision really laid down condition precedent, I reproduce the relevant provision of Rule 28.1 of the Constitution of PENGASSAN that provides as follows: “All internal disputes in the Association shall be subjected to Internal Dispute Resolution process ascertained in Schedule 3.” The relevant provisions in Schedule 3 to PENGASSAN Constitution include 3. 1, 3.4 and 3.8. Schedule 3.1 provides that: “All internal disputes shall be subordinate through the following organs: Unit-Chapter-Branch-Zone- CWC-NEC in that order.” Schedule 3.4 provides that: “A member or Branch who is aggrieved with the decisions or actions of the CWC shall report the matter to NEC through the General Secretary.” Schedule 3.8 provides that: “A member/Branch who is not satisfied with the outcome of NEC intervention can appeal to National Delegates’ Conference which decision shall be final.” The resolution of the second issue depends on proper construction of the above quoted provision of paragraph 28, schedule 3 of the PENGASSAN Constitution, 2013. It is to be noted that the objective of any interpretation is to discover the intention of the makers of the document to be interpreted. The duty of the court is to interpret and give adequate and as close as possible accurate and ordinary meaning to the words used in the document, unless this would lead to absurdity or be in conflict with other provisions of the document. This means the clauses of the document should be construed as a whole and should be given an interpretation consistent with the object and general context of the entire document. Ardo V Nyako (2014) 10 NWLR (Pt. 1416) 591 @b 628, PWTH AG V. CEDDI CORP LTD (2012) 2 NWLR (pt 1285) 465 @ 489. Ekeagu V Aliri (1991) 3 NWLR (Pt. 179) 258 @ 377. Ministry of Education Anambra state (2014) 14 NWLR (Pt 1427) 351 @ 377. In interpretation, Court is enjoined to read every word or clause in the document and construe them not in isolation but with reference to the context and other clauses in the document so as to get the real intention of the parties. Amaechi V INEC (2007) 9 NWLR (Pt1040) 504 @ 536. It is equally important to point out here that the obscurity or doubt of any particular word or words in a document may be removed by reference to associated words, and the meaning of a term may be enlarged or restricted by referring to the object of the whole clause in which it is used, see Ekpo V Calabar Local Government (19993)3 NWLR (Pt. 281) 324 @341. In the case at hand reading the entire provisions of Rule 28, Schedule 3, of the PENGASSAN Constitution, will revealed that the intention of the makers of the Constitution of PENFGASSAN is not to lay down procedure to be followed by any aggrieved member of the Union before instituting any action before a Court of Law including this Court. What the Rule meant to achieve is to deny members of the union access to Court of law to seek redress for any alleged violation of right or entitlement. With the finality of the decision of the NDC then there is no condition precedent to fulfill by any aggrieved member of the union wishing to institute an action. In the circumstance the Rule and the schedule are null and void to the extent of its inconsistency in denying aggrieved members of access to Court which the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has granted to any aggrieved person wishing to ventilate in Court. In view of the foregoing, I am of the view that Rule 28, and schedule 3 of PENGASSAN Constitution did not lay condition precedent to be fulfilled by any litigant. The Claimants in this case have locus to institute this action. This means that the right of the Claimants to approach Court for redress has not been delayed by operation of law. The submission of Counsel for the Claimants for this Court to hold that Rule 28 Schedule 3 of PENGASSAN Constitution 2013, is against the rules of natural justice enshrined in the maxim ‘’Nemo Judex in causa sua’’ is meritorious it succeeds. The Rule is in contravention of the principle of natural justice. In view of reasons adduced above I hold that the Claimants action before the Court is competent. The provisions of section 97 and 99 of the Sheriff and Civil process Act are not applicable to this case. The preliminary objection is hereby dismissed for not being meritorious. Ruling is entered accordingly. Sanusi Kado, Judge.