JUDGEMENT The claimant commenced this suit by complaint on the 23/3/2015. In the originating process the claimant sought the following reliefs from this court; 1. His salaries from February 2010 to January 2013 = N4,608,000 2. Expected Salaries from ESUT from April 2013 to July 2013 =514,000 stopped as a result of the Defendants machinations. 3. 13 % interest rate on the unpaid salaries based on fixed deposit for the 3 Years period the Claimant’s salaries were withheld by the Defendants. 4. The Claimant’s book and others deposited at the Institute Bookshop distributed as follows; i) The cost 50 Copies of Introduction to Issues in Comparative Analysis = N50,000 at N1,000 per copy ii) The cost of 52 Copies of Political Ideas: an Introduction= N40,800 at N800 per copy. iii) The cost of Copies of Development and Underdevelopment: Politics of the North-South Divide =N80, 000 at N1,000 per copy, IV) The cost of 50 Copies of Political Economy of Development and Underdevelopment (my letter to the third world Countries) N50,000 N1,000 per copy. 5. N30 million general damages for the suffering and frustration caused to claimant and his family The claimant filed his witness deposition and frontloaded some documents he intended to rely on at the hearing of the suit. The defendants filed statement of defence on the 21/1/2016 along with a witness deposition of 3 witnesses. The defendant also frontloaded some documents he intended to rely on in their defence to the claims of the claimant. Hearing in this suit commenced on the 16/11/2017. The claimant testified as CW1 and the sole witness and tendered the following exhibits 1. Exhibit C1. Guidelines of the Institution 2000 edition. 2. Exhibit C2. Offer of appointment 3. Exhibit C3. book titled political Ideas an introduction 4. Exhibit C4. book titled development and underdevelopment 5. Exhibit C4a. book titled political economy 6. Exhibit C5. book titled Introduction to issues in comparative analysis 7. Exhibit C5a. document dated 1/4/2009 a. Exhibit C6. letter dated 6/06/08 addressed to provost titled approval of text book. 8. Exhibit C7. Letter titled application to approve my book again dated25/5/2009. 10. Exhibit C8. letter titled application to approve my new text book of 16/02/2010 11. Exhibit C9. A query dated 8/11/09 12. Exhibit C10. Response to query of 8/11/07 13. Exhibit C11. Letter of suspension dated 17/2/2010 14. Exhibit C12. Reaction to the suspension letter of 17/2/2010 15. Exhibit C13. Petition letter dated 25/2/2010 16. Exhibit C14. Letter titled Re: petition letter 17. Exhibit C15. Letter of offer of temporary appointment dated 21/1/2013 18. Exhibit C16. Withdrawal of letter of temporary appointment dated 21/1/2013 19. Exhibit C17. Letter of resignation 20. Exhibit C18. Letter of petition to Legal Aid Council dated 28/7/14. 21. Exhibit C19. Letter of demand for payment of full entitlement and apology dated 30/10/2014 . 22 Exhibit C20. Circular No SWC/S/04/SBO/224 OF 12/3/10. The defendants opened their defence on the 12/2/2018. The defendant called 3 witnesses. DW1 Barr. Uju Nnebedum testified and tendered the following exhibits. 1. Exhibit DW21. Letter of resignation dated 17/5/3013. 2. Exhibit DW22. Letter dated 28/7/2014 titled Demand for payment of full entitlement & letter of apology. 3. Exhibit DW23. Letter of suspension dated 17/2/2010 4. Exhibit DW24. Letter dated 22/3/2013. And letter of inquiry of 21/3/13 5. Exhibit DW25. Letter dated 30/10/14. Titled demand for payment of full entitlement. DW2 Modestus Egiyi testified and adopted her witness deposition. She tendered the following documents in evidence. 1. Exhibit DW26. Letter dated 9/12/2009 titled November 2009 staff salary 2. Exhibit Dw27. Letter dated 16/12/2009, Titled December 2009 staff salary. 3. Exhibit DW28. Letter dated 29/1/2010, titled January 2010 salary. Hearing in this suit was concluded on the 4/6/2018 after the evidence of DW3 Nneka Chianu. The parties were directed to file their final written address. BRIEF FACTS OF THE CASE The claimant was employed by the defendants in the department of political science in 2005. The claimant in the course of his services to the defendant wrote books for use by the students in his department. The defendant alleges that the policy of the institution was that all lecturer textbooks had to be approved by the book review committee before it can be deposited in the institution library for sale at approved price. That the claimant books were not approved but he continued to sale the books at exorbitant prices. This led to his being queried. The claimant was subsequently placed on an indefinite suspension with half salary until the claimant resigned his appointment with the defendant. The claimant latter secured a temporary appointment with Enugu State University of Science and Technology. Following a letter of reference sent by the defendant to the ESUT, the temporary appointment was withdrawn. The claimant has since then not been able to secure any other teaching appointment. ISSUES FOR DETARMINATION From the facts and circumstances, the issues for determination in the suit are as follows; (1) Whether the suspension of the claimant from 17/2/2010 to 11/4/2013 when the claimant resigned from the employment of the defendant was in compliance with the terms and condition of employment of the claimant. (2) Whether by the conduct of the defendant the claimant has suffered any damages which can entitle him to damages (3) Whether the claimant is entitled to recover the value of the books alleged to be in the possession of the defendant. It is the opinion of this court that the determination of these three issues will completely address the claims of the claimant in this suit. ISSUE 1. The claimant testified that he was employed as a lecturer by the defendant vide Exhibit C2. and he accepted the appointment. He also tendered Exhibit C1 the regulation guiding the staff of the defendant. These two documents contain the condition/ terms of employment of the claimant. The claimant testified that he wrote a book titled Introduction to Issues in Comparative Analysis and which was approved upon application and recommendation for students use. He tendered the book as Exhibit C5. He He also tendered Exhibit C6, C7 and C8 which are the various applications to the book committee for approval of his book and some other books. In Exhibit C6 and C7 I can see evidence of the approval given for the use of the books by students. These applications were made on the 6/6/2008, 25/5/2009 and 16/2/2010 respectively. He testified that in line with the Institutions Guidelines, he deposited the books and other approved textbooks at the school bookshop for the procurement by any student that may have need for it. He testified that all the books tendered ie Exhibits C3, C4, C4a and C5 were all approved by the book committee of the defendant. He testified that it was the duty of the book committee to approve books for sale in the bookshop and not the provost. He testified that there was no time lecturers were told to remove their books from the bookshop. He testified that all his books were sold at the bookshop. The defendant witness DW1 testified that the claimant after writing his book “Introduction to Issues in Comparatives Analysis, put it and other books into circulation in the Institute without approval by the Chairman Book Review committee. This led to the claimant being issued with a query Exhibit C9, dated 8/11/07. DW1 further testifies that it was the claimant unsatisfactory reply in Exhibit C10 that led to the claimant being suspended vide Exhibit C11 dated 17/2/2010. I have carefully considered the state of evidence. First in the query Exhibit C9 the claimant was alleged to have sold handout and other materials without the approval of management. The claimant in his reply Exhibit C10 stated that he only sold his approved books and that the books are not handout. He also requested the defendant to furnish any evidence of the handout or the material he was alleged to have sold. The defendant never gave any evidence nor supplied the evidence of the fact as alleged against the defendant. The contention of the defendants that the books were never approved cannot be true. This so because Exhibits C6 and C7 contain the approvals given for sale of the claimant’s books to students of the 1st defendant. I do not also understand how a query written in 2007 and replied in the same year could found a basis for the suspension of the claimant in 2010 three years after the incident. Such suspension would have been in breach of Article 6.3 of Exhibit C1 since it was made after the 6 month contrary to what is stated in the Article cited above. I have also examined the letter of suspension the reasons given therein are completely at variance with the content of the query Exhibit C9 for which it was to relate to. While the query is talking about the sale of handout, the suspension letter is talking about the sale of the claimant books directly to students and not through the bookshop. Also the defendants in the letter of suspension never raise any issue of the non-approval of the claimant books by the book committee. The implication of this is that the books were approved as I have found out from the content of Exhibit C6 and C7. The testimony of DW1 and DW2 on this issue cannot be believed. This court herby holds that the claimant had secured the necessary approval for his books to be sold to students from the defendants. Again on the issue of suspension Article 6.3 Exhibit C1 ie. The regulation guiding the staff of the defendant makes it very clear on the procedure to be adopted when a staff is accused of misconduct warranting suspension. The section provides; 6.3 SUSPENSION Whenever in the opinion of the Registrar misconduct which is of such a nature as not to warrant termination of appointment or dismissal has been committed by an employee, the Registrar may suspend the employee for a specific period to, be determined by the gravity of the offence. ii) Whenever in the opinion of the Registrar a prima facie Case of misconduct has been made against an employee, and it is necessary to investigate the matter further with a view to determining the guilt or the appropriate disciplinary action, the employee may be suspended pending the determination of his case. The period of suspension shall not exceed three months in the first instance, and not more than six month The defendants suspended the claimant on the 17/2/2010. The claimant wrote Exhibit C12 complaining that he was not queried for any wrong doing nor was he given a chance to say anything in his defence. This letter was ignored by the defendants. The claimant petitioned the Bishop complaining that he was not given an opportunity to be heard, this letter was also ignored by the defendants. The claimant wrote another reminder to his petition addressed to the Bishop, vide Exhibit C14 this was also ignored by the defendants. The claimant did nothing about investigating whatever allegation was contained in the suspension letter until a period of 3 years had elapsed. The claimant testified that, ‘the embarrassment became so great that I could not imagine what transpired as three years had passed without an attempt by the Institute of Ecumenical Education to investigate the allegation despite all my calls and letters. That under this condition, I tendered my letter of resignation to the Institute. To this resignation letter, the Institute quickly accepted and wrote letter of acceptance’ The claimant tendered Exhibit DW21 the letter of acceptance of the resignation. The defendant failed to set up a panel to investigate the allegation contained in the letter of suspension within 6 months as required by article 6.3 of the regulation guiding the staff of the defendant. The claimant left the defendant hanging helplessly for three years and frustrated the defendant to the point of resigning from the service of the defendant. With the attendant consequences on his person. In the letter of resignation Exhibit C17, the claimant recounted all the efforts and the request that he made to ensure that he was given fair hearing within the 3 years he was left languishing before his resignation. The law is very clear and it is that an employer who alleges misconduct which is likely to lead to the termination or dismissal of the employee must give the employee an opportunity to be heard and must also comply with the terms and condition of the employment. The Court of Appeal in the case of BRITISH AIRWAYS V. ALHAJI A.O. MAKANJUOLA.  8 NWLR (Pt. 311) at 276 emphasised this position when the court held; Where the contract of service provides for dismissal or termination, if the employee is found guilty of misconduct and the employer terminates his appointment for misconduct the alleged misconduct must be proved, and the employee must be given a fair hearing in the process of the allegation being proved ( P. 2 8 7, paras A-B). The defendant in this case as shown on Exhibit C11 did not state the period which the claimant was to be placed on suspension as required By Article 6.3(i) of Exhibit C1. The defendant placed the claimant on suspension beyond 6 month in other words indefinitely in breach of their very own regulations. The defendant failed to determine or justify the allegations in the letter of suspension. The defendant also failed to give the claimant the opportunity to tell his own side of the story despite several request to that effect made by the claimant. In view of the above state of facts this court hereby holds that the indefinite suspension of the claimant was in breach of the terms of employment of the claimant. The suspension was unlawful and ought to be set aside and is hereby set aside. The implication of this finding is that the placing of the claimant on half salary consequent upon the suspension was unlawful. The claimant ought ordinarily to be entitled to his full salaries from February 2010 to January 2013. In relief No 1 the claimant claimed the sum of N 4,608,000 as his salary for the said period. This claim is in the nature of special damages. The law is that strict proof must be offered to be entitled to same See Egom & Ors V. Eno & Ors  LPELR -3958 (CA) The claimant did not offer proof of how he became entitled to the said sum. The claimant tendered the Exhibit C20 circular number SWC/S/04/S.80/224 i.e the Consolidated Polytechnic and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Salary Structure (CONPCASS) This document was never pleaded and evidence led on it goes to no issue and ought to be discountenanced. See the case of Sanni Omotosho V. Obidairo  LPELR-23006. The court have held that evidence led on facts not pleaded go to no issue and ought to be expunged. This leaves the claimant with no evidence offered in proof of the claim. Apart from merely claiming the sum in his statement of claim, there is no evidence offered in the witness deposition in proof of the sum claimed as salaries from February 2010 to January 2013. The law is that pleadings is not evidence. Without evidence to support the averments in the pleadings the claimant will not be entitled to the relief claimed. Accordingly the claim fails and is hereby dismissed. The ancillary claim of 13% interest on the salary can only be considered if the principal claim had succeeded. This claim also fails o dismissed. The claimant also claims the sum of N 514,000 as expected salary from ESUT FROM April 2013 to July 2013, as expected salary stopped by ESUT, as a result of the defendant’s machinations. The claimant did not plead his entitlement to this sum neither did he lead any evidence to establish his entitlement to the said sum. The claim in the opinion of this court is very speculative. Furthermore it is illogical for the defendant to pay wages for services rendered to ESUT. The law is that it is the employer that is saddled with the responsibility of payment of the employee wages except where there is an agreement to the contrary. This claim therefore fails and is hereby dismissed. ISSUE 2 ‘Whether by the conduct of the defendant the claimant has suffered any damages which can entitle him to damages’ The claimant in this case claims the sum of N 30,million naira as general damages for the suffering and frustration caused to the claimant and his family by the defendants conduct. I have already found in this judgment that the defendants is in breach of the terms and condition of the employment between the claimant and the defendant when they suspended the claimant for over three years without giving the claimant fair hearing on the allegation contained in the letter of suspension Exhibit C11. The claimant, vide Exhibit C12, C13 and C14 written to the defendant requested the claimant to give him an opportunity to defend himself of the allegation made against him but the defendants ignored these communications. The Legal Aid Counsel of Nigeria to which the claimant reported the conduct of the defendants vide Exhibit C18 invited the attention of the defendants to the ordeal the claimant was passing through as a result of the indefinite suspension the claimant was placed. In particular paragraph 7 and 8 of Exhibit C18 reads; Strangely, You raised weighty allegation against our client and immediately placed him on suspension without any investigation or fair hearing. He was never indicted of any wrongdoing by your institute. You forgot his case for three years and did not pay him a Kobo for that long period, contrary to the clear provisions of the regulations governing appointment of employees of your institute. Our client protested severally to your institutes authorities, including letters to Your provost and to your Visitor. Nothing was done to redress his situation or even hear him out. Yet, immediately he sought alternative appointment, you promptly caused that new appointment to be withdrawn within two months, clearly indicating that some interest or interests at your institute are determined to ensure that our client is “severely punished” for serving you diligently• As a result of the foregoing, our client was subjected to untold hardship, having been rendered almost destitute by your callous and inhuman action. Consequently, our client was rendered incapable of fending for his family. In the process, our client’s father died on 05 August 2011 because of the injurious falsehood and character smear on his son. Our client’s wife suffered miscarriage on 21 April, 2013 and he lost his son on 18 May, 2014. The claimant testified that he was suspended on the 17/2/2010 and he resigned vide Exhibit C17 on the 11/4/2013 after a period 3 years. Particularly the claimant in the letter of resignation wrote; Therefore owning to the facts that after even meeting with the Bishop face to face to prove my innocence proved abortive, the inability to face any form of panel whether disciplinary or any form proved abortive, writing something that I thought could even attract attention also yielded nothing and the fact that I cannot wait in vain and indefinite and with the believe that life must go on, I, Udogu Udenigwe formerly of the department of political science IECE, thinkers comer, Enugu hereby resign my appointment with your institution. In response to Exhibit C17. The defendants quickly accepted the resignation in Exhibit DW21, dated 17/5/2013. Even with this state of affairs the defendants still persisted in his mission to punish the claimant as they refused to pay the half salary he was said to have been entitled to for the past 3 years. It was not until the 24/10/2014 that they deem it necessary to pay the half salary they were supposed to have paid the claimant from month to month during the period of the suspension. One wonders how the defendants expected the claimant who is a family man to live without his salaries to support his family. The claimant testified that the ordeal he went through caused his ejection from his accommodation and he had to move his family to the village and started squatting with a friend along Garden Avenue. These evidence were never controverted by the defendant. The law is that the court is bound to rely on and act on unchallenged evidence adduced during trial See the case of Olaniyan V. Oyewole  LPELR-9109 (CA). See also Mobil Producing Nig. Unlt. & Anor V. Udo  LPELR-8440 (CA). This court is bound to act on this unchallenged evidence of the inconveniences caused to the claimant by the defendants’ action. It does appear that the defendants were all out to ensure that the claimant should not exist as a decent human being with a right to work and support himself and his family and dependent. The event that followed next should not be anything that should be ascribed to the defendants, which is a faith based institution that should uphold the dignity of a human being. The claimant testified that he moved on with his life and after an interview with the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, he was able to secure an appointment with ESUT as lecturer 11 in the Department of Political Science. He tendered Exhibit C15 the letter of appointment. He testified that following an enquiry from his new employer ESUT to the defendant on how the claimant exited the service of the defendant in Exhibit D24 dated 21/3/13 and 22/3/13, The reply of the defendant caused his new employer to withdraw his temporal appointment with ESUT vide Exhibit C16. I have carefully examine Exhibits DW24 dated 21/3/13 addressed to the registrar of the defendant, the content reads; ‘I am directed to inquire from you the circumstances surrounding the exit of Mr Udenigwe from your institution. Your kind response is solicited urgently too’. Sign- Barr. Chris C. Igbokwe (Registrar and Secretary to Council) Instead of the defendant simply reporting that the claimant resigned his appointment from the service of the defendant, the defendant threw all caution to the wind and went on a mission to completely destroy the claimant and what was remaining of his career in their reply to the simple enquiry from ESUT. For the avoidance of doubt, the reply of the defendant dated 22/3/2013 which was tendered as an attachment to the enquiry reads; Sequel to your letter dated the 21st of March, 2013 in respect of the above – subject matter, I hereby reply and state as follows: 1. He was a staff of the Institute. 2. He was suspended as a staff of the Institute mainly because he sold his text books to the students directly contrary to the decision of management that it should be sold through the Institute bookshop. Thanks. Barr C. E. Nkolo Registrar In making this response the defendant failed to also inform the claimant’s new employer the further details surrounding the suspension of the claimant from the defendant employment. For instance they failed to inform ESUT that they never investigated the allegation and never came out with any final decision as stated and was expected of the defendant in their letter of suspension Exhibit C11. Also they did not disclose to ESUT that the defendant was never queried over the allegation and also that they kept the claimant on an indefinite suspension until the claimant out of frustration had to resign, when the defendant failed to give him fair hearing over the matter. It is rather absurd that the person who replied the enquiry is a lawyer. But for a lawyer not to guide an institution which he serves as a secretary leaves much to be desired of his competence. This is the same lawyer who after accepting the letter of resignation of the claimant wrote ‘God Bless You.’ as a complementary close. What blessing was he invoking for the claimant when he turned around the very next opportunity to destroy the career of the claimant. The defendants clearly mis-represented the facts as they are in their response in Exhibit DW24. They portrayed the claimant as a person of dubious character who cannot be employed by any organisation. This act of the defendant led to the withdrawal of the offer of appointment given to the claimant by ESUT in Exhibit C16. By the act of the defendant in this suit it is clear that the defendants if allowed to get away with their very callous act can put an end to the career of the claimant in addition to the other afflictions the claimant has been subjected to by reason of their unconscionable conduct. Their conduct have put the claimant through so much inconveniences. I must not also fail to note the attitude of the Bishop and Visitor to the defendant, his action in ignoring all the petitions and entreaties put across to him by the claimant seeking to be given fair hearing leaves much to be desired of a man who stands in such a high spiritual office. It is not the intention of the law that any person of working age be put out of work and career upon an unproven allegation. Having regards to the above state of facts this court hereby adjudges that the Claimant is entitled to substantial damages for the wrongful act of the defendants. The damages would be assessed based on what the claimant would have earned if he was allowed to remain in the employment of the ESUT and which employment was truncated by the ill-advised action of the defendants. Accordingly this court hereby makes the following pronouncement on this issue (a) The defendant shall pay the claimant the sum of N 8million naira as general damages. (b) The defendant shall write to ESUT immediately withdrawing their response to the enquiry contained in Exhibit DW24 and stating clearly in another letter to ESUT the correct position to wit; that the claimant resigned his appointment with the defendant. (c) The defendants who are under a duty by law to issue any reference to any employer of the claimant as may be required un-behalf of the claimant are not to issue any reference to any person, body institution as may be demanded that tend to tarnish the working record of the claimant. ISSUE 3 ‘Whether the claimant is entitled to recover the value of the books alleged to be in the possession of the defendant’. On this issue, the claimant in this suit claims as follows; 1. The cost of 50 copies of Introduction to Issues in Comparative Analysis N50,000 at N 1,000 per copy 2. The cost of 52 Copies of Political Ideas: an Introduction = N40,800 at 800 per copy 3. The cost of copies of Development and Underdevelopment: Politics of the North- South Divide =N80,000 at N1,000 per copy. 4. The cost of 50 copies of Political Economy of Development and ‘ Under- development (my letter to the third world Countries)’ N50,000 1,000 per copy These claims are in the nature of special damages. The law is that special damages are In a class of their own requiring strict proof which can only be proved/established by Credible and ascertainable facts which must have been specifically pleaded and of course strictly proved. See the case of IBWA Ltd. V. Hotel Metropole Int. Ltd & Anor.  LPELR-4272 (CA). I have gone through the entire pleadings of the claimant I have not seen where facts are pleaded supporting the grant of these claims. Also there is no evidence led in the witness deposition which establish that these books were actually deposited in the bookshop of the defendant. The burden of proving this fact at all times rest with the claimant who asserts that affirmative of the issue, See section 131(1) of the Evidence Act 2011. The claimant in this suit failed to discharge the burden of prove placed on him. In the light of the above the claims forming the subject matter of this issue fails and is accordingly dismissed. On the whole these claims succeed in part. The defendant shall comply with the order of this court within one month from the date of this judgment. Failure to comply with the monetary award within the period stated above shall attract interest at the rate of 10 % thereafter. Judgment is entered accordingly.