The Claimant commenced this suit via a complaint dated 6th September 2016, filed on the same day. The complaint was accompanied with Statement of facts, Witness Statement on oath, list of witnesses, list of documents to be relied on at the trial and copies of the documents to be tendered in evidence. The Defendants upon receipt of the Originating process, with the leave of Court, entered conditional appearance and filed motion on notice dated 13th day of January 2017, praying for: 1. An order of this Honourable Court striking out this suit for being incompetent. 2. Any further order thus Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case. The grounds upon which this application is predicated are: I. The condition precedent to institute the suit, as stipulated in the Armed Forces Act, Cap. A20 Laws of the Federation 2004, has not been complied with by the Claimant. II. That the suit discloses no reasonable cause of action against the Defendants/Applicants. On 1/2/18, when this matter came up before the Court, before arguing this application, Mr. E. S. Onoja, Counsel for the Defendants/Applicants sought for and obtained leave of Court to amend the Rules under which this application was brought. The application was granted wherein the Court ordered substitution of Order 17 Rule 1 of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (Civil Procedure) Rules 2017, with Order 11 Rule 1 & 15 of the National Industrial Court Rules 2007. In arguing this application, Counsel for the Defendants/Applicants informed the Court that this application was brought pursuant to Order 17 Rule 1 of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, (Civil Procedure) Rules 2017. The motion on notice is supported by a 3 paragraphs affidavit, sworn to by one Moses Agu, a Litigation Secretary in the law firm of J. I. Akaagerger & Co, the Defendants Solicitors. In compliance with the Rules of this Court a written address was filed along with the motion on notice. Counsel, while arguing the motion on notice relied on all the paragraphs of the affidavit and adopted the written address as his argument on the motion on notice. In the written address Counsel for the Defendants/Applicants Identified two issues for determination, to wit: I. ‘‘Whether this suit is incompetent and liable to be struck out with the Claimant having not complied with the condition precedent prescribed by the Armed Forces Act before a suit can be commenced under the said Act? II. ‘‘Whether the suit as it is discloses a cause of action accruing to the Claimant? Arguing issue one, Counsel for the Defendants/Applicants referred the Court to section 178 (1), (2) and (3) of the Armed Forces Act and submitted that the section provided for condition precedent that has to be fulfilled before instituting an action against the Defendants in this case. Counsel referred to AKINTOKUN V IPDE (2014) 13 NWLR (pt.1423) 1 @ 90, and EGUAMWENSE V AMAGHIZEMWEN (1993) 9 NWLR (pt.315) 1 @ 25, where the Supreme Court held that where a statute prescribes a legal line of action for determination of an issue be that administrative matter, chieftaincy matter or matter of taxation, the aggrieved party must exhaust all the remedies in the law before going to court. Counsel further submitted that all remedies in statute on every subject must be exhausted before embarking on actual litigation in court. Consel contended that in ARIBISALA V OGUNYEMI (2005) 6 NWLR (PT.921) 212, the Supreme Court maintained that the Constitution is not an open gate for Courts to assume jurisdiction in all subjects. All local remedies in statute on every subject must be exhausted before embarking on actual litigation in Court. Counsel urged the Court to strike out this suit for being incompetent due to non-fulfilment of condition precedent. On issue two, Counsel submitted that a cause of action means a combination and circumstances giving rise to the right to file a claim for a remedy in court. It includes every material fact which is necessary to be proved to entitle the plaintiff to succeed. On this submission Counsel relied on B. E. D. C. PLC V ESEALUKA (2015) 2 NWLR (pt.1444) 411 @ 435. It is further submitted that the determinant of cause of action is the claim before the Court. S. P. D. C. N. V AJUWA (2015) 14 NWLR (pt.1480) 403 @ 473. Counsel submitted that in ascertaining whether this suit discloses a cause of action or not, the statement of facts filed by the Claimant will be looked at. Counsel submitted that in the entire 41 paragraphs of the statement of facts there are no material facts contained therein, which if proved will entitled the claimant to judgment in his favour. According to Counsel what is apparent from all the averments is that the claimant is complaining for having been compulsorily retired from active service. Counsel also submitted that the Claimant has not brought out what was his tenure of office and which retirement has cut short. Continuing his submission Counsel submitted that the Claimant has not stated the injury suffered as a result of the premature retirement. Counsel contended that the Claimant’s cause of action if any, has undoubtedly been circumscribed by his failure to avail himself with, and exhaust the opportunity afforded him by the condition precedent contained in section 178 of the Armed Forces Act. Counsel submitted that the Claimant’s cause of action is premature, unripe and incompetent thus liable to be dismissed. Counsel submitted that absence of cause of action has deprived this court of jurisdiction to hear and determine this suit. Counsel referred to J & J TECHNO (NIG.) LTD V Y. H. G. S. LTD (2015) 8 NWLR (pt.1460) 1, where it was held, that where a plaintiff discloses no reasonable cause of action, a court is without jurisdiction to entertain the suit against that particular party. In concluding his submission Counsel urged this Court to strike out this suit for being premature, incompetent and for want of jurisdiction, with substantial costs against the Claimant. SUBMISSION IN OPPOSITION: In opposing this application, the Claimant filed a 17 paragraphs counter-affidavit, wherein he stated that vide the content of his letter of compulsory retirement dated 9th day of June 2016, he was retired on disciplinary grounds i.e serious offences. He also stated that the letter of compulsory retirement conspicuously stated he may appeal to Mr. President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, through the Chief of Defence Staff within 30 days of the service of the letter of compulsory retirement. He further stated that he wrote to the president, and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces Through the office of Chief of Defence Staff within 30 days of the service of the letter of compulsory retirement and the said letter was acknowledged vide exhibit ‘A’, wherein the letter dated 8th day of August 2016, stated that the appeal is receiving attention. He also stated that after the expiration of 30 days of compliance with the content of the letter of retirement and over three months after he was wrongfully retired, he was left with no option than to seek redress in a competent Court of law. According to the Claimant he has exhausted the channel or avenue for resolution of his grievance by appealing to the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, who is the height of all military authority lies. The Claimant also averred that having been wrongfully retired compulsorily only the President, Commander in Chief that can reinstate him. It was stated that having been retired, the Claimant is no longer subject to the Armed Forces Act. It was further stated that the provisions of the Act relied upon by the Defendants in this application applies to officers in the employment of the Armed forces. In the written address filed on behalf of the Claimant, Counsel identified one issue for determination, to wit: ‘‘Whether the Claimant’s suit discloses a cause of action against the Defendants’’. ARGUMENT It is the submission of Counsel for the Claimant/Respondent that where a party is opposed to the filing of a suit and challenges its competence, such a party can only do so in his pleadings by filing a statement of defence. Counsel also submitted that there are plethora of authorities to the effect that for the court to determine whether a claimant’s suit discloses a cause of action recourse must be had to the writ of summons and statement of claim before the Court. Counsel submitted that the law is trite that a Claimant’s writ of summons or statement of claim determines whether the suit is competent or not. On this submission Counsel relied on ETHIOPEAN AIR LINES VS AFRI BANK NIG. PLC (2006) 17 NWLR (pt.1008) 245. Counsel also submitted that proper parties are before the Court and this court is equally vested with requisite jurisdiction to hear this suit in that it is one which arises from the wrongful termination of the appointment of the Claimant. Counsel submitted that contrary to the submissions of the Defendants/Applicants as canvassed in the address in support of this application, section 178(1), (2) and (3) of the Armed Forces Act was cited out of context. Counsel contended that the said section refers to ‘’officers’’ in the employment of the Nigerian Army. By virtue of wrongful termination, the Claimant ceased to be an officer with the Nigerian Army. Counsel submitted assuming but without conceding that the Claimant could apply to his commanding officer or the Forces Council, the question then is does the Commanding officer have the power to reinstate the claimant after being wrongfully terminated from the Nigerian Army. The letter of termination provide that an appeal may be written to the president who may reinstate the claimant, the question is whether the president, commander in chief and the commanding officer possess the same authority in issues of termination, employment and reinstatement of wrongfully retired officers. Counsel also submitted that the only authority that can reinstate is the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and the Claimant having written to the President has exhausted all the available means available within the context of this letter of compulsory retirement. Counsel submitted this court has jurisdiction to hear the claimant’s action being one that arises from a matter relating to employment disputes. On this submission counsel relied on section 254C of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended). Counsel contended having exhausted all the remedies available in regards to military law, this Court had been vested with jurisdiction to entertain the Claimants suit. Counsel urged the Court to so hold and to discountenance and dismissed the defendants’ application with punitive cost. REPLY ON POINTS OF LAW The Defendants/Applicants through their Counsel filed a reply on point of law wherein Counsel submitted that the counter-affidavit of the Claimant/Respondent contravened the provisions of section 115 of the Evidence Act, 2011. Counsel submitted that the counter-affidavit was false, misleading, argumentative and legally conclusive and it contains extraneous matters. Counsel referred to paragraphs 5-15 of the counter-affidavit and submitted that the averments are what affidavit should not contain. To buttress his argument counsel cited EXECUTORS, THE ESTATE OF EFEJUKU Vs AZIXA (2013) 11 NWLR (pt.1365) 307, BAMAIYI V STYATE (2001) 8 NWLR (pt.715) 270, IZEDOMWEN Vs UBA PLC (2012) 6 NWLR (pt.1295) 1. Counsel urged the Court based on the cases cited to expunge the said paragraphs of the counter-affidavit. On the submission of the Claimant that, the Defendants have not filed defence, this is not true. Counsel submitted that the Claimants were duly served with joint statement of defence of the Claimant on 13th January 2017. Counsel also submitted that there is no written address in support of the counter-affidavit of the Claimant/Respondent as envisaged and a mandatorily required by the provisions of Order 17 Rule 1 sub-Rule (7) a, b, c, and d of the National industrial Court of Nigeria (Civil Procedure) Rules 2017. Counsel submitted that the allusion to proper parties before the court and court’s jurisdiction are matters that have not been raised in the Defendants/Applicants written address, all these submissions are abuse of Court process calculated to mislead the court. Counsel urged the court to guard against abuse of court processes by expunging from the record of the Court those submissions that are extraneous to the application under consideration. Counsel also submitted that the contention of Counsel for the Claimant to the effect that section 178 of the Armed Forces Act was cited out of context was misleading. It is the contention of Counsel that the position of the law regarding exhausting the internal mechanism provided in a statute before the Claimant embarks on litigation supersedes any correspondence AG KAWARA STATE VS ADEYEMO (2017) 1 NWLR (pt.1546) 210. Counsel also submitted that it is too late in the day for the Claimant to claim Armed Forces Act is not applicable to him when his Claim is based on it. COURT’S DECISION After careful perusal of the originating court processes commencing this suit, the motion on notice and its supporting affidavit, counter affidavit and the addresses of counsel for both parties. It is apt to state that Counsel for the Defendants/Applicants has submitted two issues for determination. While Counsel for the Claimant/Respondent submitted lone issue for determination. However, I feel that with some modifications the two issues submitted by the Defendants/Applicants can adequately disposed of this application. The two issues as modified are: 1. ‘’whether having regard to the provision of section 178 of the Armed Forces Act this suit is incompetent’’. 2. ‘‘whether the Claimant’s action discloses a cause of action’’. However, before discussing the two issues for determination, it is necessary to first and foremost deal with some preliminary issues raised by counsel in their addresses. The Defendants/Applicants in their reply on points of law have raised objection to certain paragraphs of the counter-affidavit. Counsel submitted that the counter-affidavit was false, misleading, argumentative and legally conclusive and it contains extraneous matters. Counsel referred to paragraphs 5-15 of the counter-affidavit and submitted that the averments therein are what affidavit should not contain. It is well established principle of law that affidavit is a statement of fact which the maker or deponent state facts within his personal knowledge which are true to the best of his knowledge, information or belief. See JOSIEN HOLDING LTD & ORS. V LORNAMEAD LTD & ANR. (1995) 1 NWLR (Pt. 371) 254. It must contain facts of which the maker or deponent has personal knowledge or which are based on information which he believes to be true. Where the information deposed in an affidavit is derived from any source, the source date of acquiring the information as well as grounds for belief must be stated. An affidavit should not contain erroneous matters, legal arguments or conclusions. See section 115 of the Evidence Act. Any paragraphs of an affidavit which offends against any of the provisions of section 115 of the Evidence Act, may be struck out and no weight will be attached to it. On a calm view of paragraphs 5-15 of the counter-affidavit, it will clearly show that only paragraphs 11, 13, 14 and 15 contain prayers, legal arguments or conclusions. Therefore, they violate the provisions of section 115 of the Evidence Act and they are liable to be struck out. Accordingly, they are hereby struck out. The Claimant/Respondent also has raised objection to the Defendant’s objection to the suit on the ground that where a party is opposed to the filing of a suit and challenges its competence, such a party can only do so in his pleadings by filing a statement of defence. The law is settled that issue of jurisdiction of Court is very crucial it goes to the root of the action. The fundamental nature of issue of jurisdiction is such that it can be raised at any point in time at the beginning or during pendency of an action. In fact it can be raised on appeal even at the Supreme Court for the first time. To underscore the importance of issue of jurisdiction, it can be raised viva voce (orally), without a formal application or the Court can raise it suo motu. See ADEGBENRO V AKINTILO (2010) 3 NWLR (Pt.1382) 5541, KOTOYE V SARAKI (1993) 5 NWLR (PT.296), BRONIK MOTRS LTD V WEMA BANK LTD (1993) 1 SCNLR 296, COMPTROLLER GENERAL PRISONS V IDEHEN (2010) 3 NWLR (PT.1382) 503, ONOMIJI V KOLAWOLE 2008 14 NWLR PT.1106 180. The issue of whether conditions precedent has been complied with is a question of law touching on jurisdiction of the Court to try the case. This type to issue can be raised even without filing of defence. In the case at hand I hold that the issue as raised by the Defendants is properly before the Court. Having dealt with the preliminary issues, I shall now treat the main issues calling for resolution. In advancing his argument, Mr. E. S. Onoja, Counsel for the Defendants/Applicants has contended that section 178(1) (2) and (3) of the Armed Forces Act has laid down condition to be fulfilled before an action could be filed in a court of law. While opposing this submission, Counsel to the Claimant/Respondent argued that section 178(1), (2) and (3) of the Armed Forces Act, was cited by the Defendants/Applicants out of context. According to Counsel the said section applies to officers in the employment of the Nigeria Army and vide his wrongful termination, the Claimant ceased to be Officer with the Nigerian Army. 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 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 parties in this case. The only area of disagreement between the parties is in respect of whether the letter of complaint written to President, Commander in Chef amount to fulfilment of condition precedent provided for in section 178 of the Armed Forces Act. 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 to 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 section 178 of the Armed Forces Act in order to appreciate and discern if the section laid down condition precedent, I reproduce the relevant provision of section 178 hereunder: Section 178 ‘’(1) if an officer thinks himself wronged in any matter by a superior officer or authority and on application to his commanding officer does not obtain the redress to which he thinks he is entitled, he may make a complaint with respect to that matter to the forces council; (2) on receiving a complaint under sub-section 1 of this section, the Forces Council shall investigate the matter and grant any redress which appears to the forces council to be necessary or if the complainant so requires, the forces council shall make its report on the complaint in order to seek the direction of the President on the matter. (3) subject to subsection (1) of this section, an officer who feels has been wronged in any matter shall first exhaust the administrative remedies available to him under this Act before embarking on any action’’. (4) an initial complaint by an officer to his commanding officer under subsection (1) of this section, shall be made not later than three months of the wrong in respect of which it is brought, and where the officer has not obtained the redress to which he thinks himself entitled, he may make a further complaint in the prescribed manner to the authority prescribed under subsection (1) of this section not later than three months of the complaint or of receiving the unfavourable redress, as the case may be. (5) No officer shall be penalized for having made a complaint in accordance with this section if the complaint does not contravene a provision of this Act’’, The resolution of this issue depends on proper construction of the above quoted section of Armed Forces Act. It is to be noted that the objective of any interpretation is to discover the intention of the lawmakers which can be deduced from the language used in the statute. 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 statute, unless this would lead to absurdity or be in conflict with other provisions of the statute. This means a statute should be construed as a whole and should be given an interpretation consistent with the object and general context of the entire statute. Ardo V Nyako (2014) 10 NWLR (Pt. 1416) 591 @ 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 statute and construe them not in isolation but with reference to the context and other clauses in the statute not only to get at the proper legislative intention but also to make a consistent enactment of the whole statute. 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 statute 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 this case reading the entire provisions of section 178 of the Armed Forces Act will clearly revealed that the intention of legislature in framing the section is to lay down procedure to be followed by any aggrieved officer in the Armed Forces who has been wronged before instituting any action before a Court of Law including this Court. That is to say the section laid down condition precedent to be fulfilled by any officer wishing to institute an action whether the officer is a serving or retired officer in so far as the grievances borders on action taken in the exercise of powers under the Armed Forces Act, such as retirement or termination of appointment. In the circumstance any officer aggrieved must first and foremost exhaust the channels of ventilating grievances laid down in section 178 of the Armed Forces Act before commencing an action. This is more so when the provision of subsection (3) had stated in clear terms that an aggrieved person has no business approaching the court without exhausting all the other remedies provided in the section. I, therefore hold that the provisions of section 178 of Armed Forces Act, which requires an aggrieved person to follow the procedure laid down therein is mandatory. It is also clear from the provisions of the section that exhausting those remedies are condition precedent to the exercise of this court’s jurisdiction. Put differently the claimant in this case has no locus to approach this court without exhausting the laid down procedure in section 178 of the Act. This means that the right of the Claimant to approach Court for redress has been delayed or postponed by operation of law. The combined effect of the entire provisions of the section is to make following the procedure laid down therein compulsory without giving an aggrieved person any option of choice. This is clear in that the subsections are intertwined and one cannot go without taking cognizance of the other subsections. The postulation of the Claimant that section 178 was cited out of context by the Defendants/Applicants is misleading and unacceptable, more so, when the provisions of the entire section are carefully considered, where in it stated if an officer thinks himself wronged in any matter by a superior officer or authority and on application to his commanding officer does not obtain the redress to which he thinks he is entitled, he may make a complaint with respect to that matter to the forces council. This clearly shows that the section applies to both serving and retired officers, in so far as the officer concerned thinks he has been wronged. As pointed earlier in my humble view the issue in dispute between the parties in respect of section 178 of the Armed Forces Act, is the issue of compliance or non-compliance with condition precedent. To the Defendants, the letter written by the Claimant to the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria seeking for redress against retirement (which is part of the documents to be relied on at the trial) is not enough to constitute compliance with the condition precedent as stipulated in section 178 of the Armed Forces Act. While to the Claimant the letter of 22nd day of June 2016, written to the President, Commander in Chief of Armed Forces Federal Republic of Nigeria in compliance with paragraph 09.02(e) as required vide letter of compulsory retirement dated 9th June 2016, is in substantial compliance with condition precedent in line with the provisions of section 178 of the Armed Forces Act. It is also the position of the Claimant that the said letter of appeal for redress also complied with laid down procedure for seeking administrative redress of his grievance regarding his wrongful retirement from service, which was purportedly carried out in line with the provisions of paragraph 09.02 of the Harmonized Terms of Conditions of Service (2012) Revised. In order to resolve this issue the decision of the Court of Appeal Abuja Division in the case of ADHEKEGBA V MINISTER OF DEFENCE (2013) 17 NWLR (PT.1382) 126, comes handy, in that case the Court of Appeal considered the provisions of section 178 of the Armed Forces Act and paragraph 09.02 of the Harmonized Terms of Conditions of Service (2012) Revised and held that a letter of appeal (similar to the one under consideration) seeking for redress written to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, through the Chief of Defence Staff amount to substantial compliance with the provisions of section 178 of Armed Forces Act. The Court of Appeal at page 150 paragraphs A-D of the report has this to say:- ‘‘it is thus glaring that the Appellant’s Commanding officer is a member of the Army Council, who is the Appellant’s aggressor. A careful reading of section 178 1 and 2 evinces the fact that the Appellant cannot be expected to make a complaint as required under the law to the Army Council, that is, against the same person or body that has wronged the Appellant. Ipso facto, it is also not commonsensical to suggest that the same aggressor ‘’shall investigate the matter and grant any redress’’ or make its ‘’report on the complaint to the president’’ as required by the law. The Army Council cannot be expected to be effecting a redress over itself. It will indeed be preposterous to appeal to the same Army council or any of its members being the body complained of. That will tantamount to the Army Council being a judge in its own cause, which will be a violent breach of section 36 of the Constitution as rightly contended by the Appellant. The only reasonable option in the circumstance, in my view, is for the Appellant to appeal to the president. This was the step taken by the Appellant by his letter exhibit ‘OVO2’ at pages 40 – 41 of the record of appeal; in which an appeal for justice was addressed to the president, through the Chief of Defence Staff, who in turn forwarded same to the president by exhibit ‘OVO2A’. Based on the letter of appeal written to the president, Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Court of Appeal opined that the Appellant has substantially complied with the condition precedent before instituting his action. On paragraph 09.02, the Court of Appeal in the same case at page 153 paras E-G, stated thus:- ‘‘thus, the provision of HTACOS itself stipulate the procedure for an aggrieved officer to seek reliefs. Sub paragraph (e) of 09.02 provide that such an officer shall if he so desires, appeal to the president through the CDS within 30 days for a reconsideration of his case. This was the exact procedure followed by the Appellant in seeking redress over decision of the Army Council, dated 11th February 2008. His letter of appeal to the president was appropriately routed through the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) on 18th February 2008 (pages 17 – 18 of the record of appeal); 7 days after, which is within the stipulated period provided by law. Thus, the Appellant appropriately followed the law and procedure in seeking redress against the wrong perpetrated against him’’. Applying the principle of law enunciated in the above quoted Court of Appeal case to the effect that writing letter of appeal to the president, Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as per paragraph 09.02 of the Harmonized Terms of Conditions of Service (2012) Revised, is substantial compliance with condition precedent set out in section 178 of the Armed Forces Act, to the case at hand, I have no difficulty in coming to conclusion that the Claimant/Respondent has vide letter of 22nd day of June 2016, written 13 days after his compulsory retirement seeking for reconsideration of his retirement by the president, Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, substantially complied with the condition precedent before instituting this suit. In the circumstance he cannot be denied access to the Court for redress. Therefore, I resolved Issue one in favour of the Claimant, but against the Defendants. On issue two, Counsel for the Defendants/Applicants submitted that the Claimant’s action as it is presently constituted does not disclose a cause of action. Counsel contended that the Claimant did not disclose his tenure of office and how his compulsory retirement has cut it short and what is the injury he suffers as a result of the premature retirement. However, Counsel for the Claimant on his part submitted that for the Court to determine whether a party has a cause of action or not recourse must be had to the writ of summons and statement of claim before the Court. In law a cause of action denotes aggregate factual situation the Claimant relied on to approach a Court of law for ventilation of grievance. In BELLO V. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF OYO STATE (1986) 5 NWLR (Pt.45) 828, the Supreme Court held that ‘’cause of action is constituted by the bundle of aggregate facts which the law will recognize as giving the plaintiff a substantive right to make the claim against the relief or remedy being sought’’. Thus, the factual situation relied upon must constitute the essential ingredients of an enforceable right or claim. See AKILU V FAWEHINMI (No. 2) (1989) (pt. 102) 122, SAVAGE V UWECHIA (1972) 1 ALL NLR (Pt. 1) 251. As rightly submitted by both Counsel, for the Court to determine cause of action the pleading of the plaintiff must be considered and not the defence. A careful perusal of the pleading of the Claimant/Respondent in this case i.e the statement of facts will show that vide the letter of 9th day of June 2016, the Claimant was compulsorily retired from the service of the Nigeria Army. Consequent upon which vide letter dated 22nd day of June 2016, the Claimant appeal to the President Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces through the Chief of Defence Staff. However, after over 30 days of the appeal the Claimant decided to approach this Court to seek redress by way of declaratory and injunctive reliefs. A part from seeking to void his compulsory retirement the Claimant is seeking for reinstatement and payment of compensatory, aggravated and exemplary damages in the sum of One billion Naira. It is clear from the pleading of the Claimant/Respondent what led to the institution of this suit was his compulsory retirement. The Claimant is vide his pleading contesting the validity of his compulsory retirement, which the Claimant/Respondent considered to be null and void and of no effect whatsoever. It is interesting to note that the Claimant has in his pleading averred facts showing when he was commissioned as an officer in the Nigeria Armed Forces and the various assignments the Claimant/Respondent performed and positions held for the period of his service before his compulsory retirement. It is also in the pleadings of the Claimant/Respondent that the disciplinary procedure to discipline officer of his calibre was not followed by the Defendants/Applicants before he was compulsorily retired from service. It is therefore, clear as day light that the facts as disclosed in the statement of facts (Pleadings) clearly shows that the Claimant has a cause of action to clothe him with right to seek redress in a Court of law. In the circumstance, I hold that there is a cause of action capable of being enforced, as all the bundle of aggregate facts which the law will recognize as giving the Claimant a substantive right to make the claim against the relief or remedy being sought before the Court have been disclosed in the pleadings. In view of the foregoing, it is the findings of this Court that the Claimant has substantially complied with section 178 of the Armed Forces Act and that the pleading of the Claimant has disclosed a cause of action capable of being enforced. In view of my findings above the Defendants objection to this suit failed and is hereby dismissed. Sanusi Kado, Judge.