RULING. The claimants vide motion on notice dated 12/6/18 and filed on 14/6/18, brought pursuant to order 63 rule 1 & 2 of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (Civil Procedure) Rules 2017, and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court is seeking for an order of committal against Comrade Aminu Ahmed, Comrade Agora Jibril, Comrade Wale Ajayi, Comrade Lumumba Okugbawafor (AG. Secretary), Comrade Yusuf Abubakar, Comrade Ndukanku Ohaeri (National IRO), Comrade Collins Worlu, Comrade Mfon Solomon, Comrade Ibrahim S. Kanya, Comrade Muhammed Mujib, Comrade Godfrey Menegbo, Comrade Sinime Paulker, Comrade Habib Abubakar, Comrade Idris Alityu, Comrade Abdullahi Auta, for disobeying the order of court issued on 22/1/16 by Honourable Justice P. O. Lifu and an order denying the defendant/respondents further hearing in this matter pending the time which they can satisfy this court that they are in compliance with the order of court issued on the 22/1/16 by Hon. Justice P. O. Lifu. The application was supported by a 20 paragraphs affidavit sworn to by the 2nd claimant. It is averred in the affidavit in support that this court Coram Honourable Justice P. O. Lifu, on 22/1/16, vide exhibit AA, ordered parties to maintain status quo pending the determination of this suit. The order was served on the defendants. That in disobedience of exhibit AA the 2nd 3rd and 7th defendants swore in the 9th – 17th respondents as interim executives of PEFMB branch on 23rd and 24th March 2017, at the PENGASSAN House, 20 Lome Crescent, Wuse, Zone 7, Abuja. The interim executives have been acting as executives of the branch and attending court representing 1st defendant, as the record of proceedings of 20/2/18, will show. In disobedience of exhibit AA, the 1st defendant suspended the claimants for instituting this suit. The suspension of the claimants was approved at the National Executive Council Meeting of the 1st defendant held on the 12th May 2016 and communicated to the entire world in a communique signed by the 5th and 6th defendants on behalf of the 1st defendant and published on page 45 of the Monday, 16 May, 2016, edition of punch newspaper. Exhibit BB. Vide exhibit C1 and C2, respectively, the claimants were informed of their suspension. Vide exhibit DD, an agreement of 19th - 21st July 2017; item 14, the 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th respondents and the 1st defendant agreed to deny the claimants of their benefit and emolument for taking 1st defendant to court. In furtherance of exhibit DD, the claimants were denied since September 2017 to date benefit of collective bargaining agreement, performance incentive bonus December 2017 and 2017 staff performance Appraisal exercise salary increment pursuant to the said exhibit DD. Vide exhibit EE several demands were made for payment of remuneration and bonuses but no reply. Exhibit FF was the only reply to several demands, wherein it was confirmed that denial of the entitlement was due to institution of this case and agreement contained in exhibit DD. That despite being served with exhibits G1 and G2, i.e to purge themselves of contempt the respondents persisted in breaching the extant live order of the court. In the written address a sole issue was formulated for determination, to wit: ‘‘Whether the application of the complainants/applicants deserve being granted’’. F. Baba Isah, Esq counsel for the complainants/applicants in arguing in support of the sole issue for determination submitted that the complainants/applicants have vide affidavit evidence shown that there is a subsisting live order of the court which has been breached and the defendants continued to breach despite being aware of the order and given opportunity to purge themselves from the contempt of the order of the court. Counsel contended disobedience of court order is threatening administration of justice. In support of this submission counsel call in aid the case of AMERICA INTERNATIONAL SECURITY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS (NIG.) LTD V EUGENE PETERSON & ANOR. (FRC/10/77 delivered on 27th October 1978), OKO-SI V AKINDELE (2013) LPELR-20353(CA). It is the submission of counsel that to refuse to do an act required by a judgment or order of court within the time specified therein or disobey a judgment or order requiring a person to abstain from doing a specified act amount to contempt like in the case at hand. It is the contention of counsel that the order of 22/1/16 is clear and unambiguous. The refusal to obey the said order by the respondent is deliberate, likewise their decision not purge themselves of contempt is also deliberate. Counsel submitted by section 72 the court is empowered to order person who has refused to comply with an order made against him, other than for payment of money to be committed to prison as notice to the party in disobedience and detained in custody until he has obeyed the order. Also vide order 9 rule 13 judgment enforcement rules, the registrar has the duty to issue forms 48 and 49 as notices to the party in disobedience; and where such party fails to appear on the named date, the court may order a warrant of committal. It is the contention of counsel that a party in disobedience of court order may be subject to the rule that a party in contempt cannot be heard or take part in proceedings in the same cause until he has purged himself of contempt. On this submission counsel relied on the case of MOBIL NIG. UNLTD V ASANI (1995) 8 NWLR (PT.412). Counsel also submitted that this court has the inherent power to punish person in disobedience to its order and urged the court to protect itself from ridicule from being maligned and ridicule. To support this submission counsel cited the case of AFRIBANK NIG. PLC V YELWA (2011) 12 NWLR (Pt.1261). In concluding his submission counsel urged the court in the interest of justice to grant this application as a party that disobey order of the court must be made to face the consequences of his contumacious behavior. In opposition to the application for contempt the 1st and 11th defendants in the main suit and 1st 4th to 17th respondents filed a 14 paragraphs affidavit, sworn to by one Okechukwu Nwoko, a counsel in the law firm of Rudy Ezeani & Co, the counsel for the defendants. In the counter-affidavit the respondents stated that the order of 22/1/16, was made in the absence of the parties in this suit and parties sought to be committed for contempt. The parties were also not represented in court when the order was made. It was also stated that the 1st to 11th defendant in the main suit and the 5th – 17th respondents cited for contempt were not personally served with the said order made on 22/1/16. The 2nd person cited for contempt denied being personally served with order of 22/1/16 or with form 48 0r form 49. It was stated that the dispute culminating into filing of this suit was as a result of aborted election by returning officer when the complainants/applicants stormed the venue and disrupted the election. This led to appointment of interim executives in December, 2015. And not march 23 or 24, 2016, as alleged by the complainants. The said appointment was communicated via letter dated 22/12/15, the said letter was pleaded by the complainants in paragraph 30 of their amended statement of claim. The 1st defendant in late 2017, reversed its decision made at National Executives Council Meeting by according the complainants the status of membership and affording them all the right of a member. Neither the 2nd person cited for contempt nor the respondents signed an agreement to deny the defendants their benefits and emoluments, at joint consultative committee meeting held between 19th – 21st July 2017, as alleged in paragraph 11 of the affidavit of the 2nd complainant or at all and that exhibit DD is the Minute of the JCC meeting of 19-21 July 2017 and not an agreement as alleged. The JCC meeting is meeting between the complainants’ employer and trade unions representing its employees and that neither 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 12th, 13th and 14th nor any member of the 1st respondent is in control of any decision reached at the meeting. The decision of the 2nd complainant’s employer as alleged in paragraph 14 of the 2nd defendant’s affidavit was independent of the input or instigation of the respondents but instead it was an independent action of the said employers. The national delegate conference is a meeting attended by delegates appointed from the various branches of the 1st respondent and that the 1st complainant was not appointed as a branch delegate for the Petroleum Equalization Funds branch. Or any other branch of the 1st respondent, thus why complainant was not allowed to attend the delegate conference. The complainants have been writing the management of petroleum equalization funds not to recognize 2nd to 10th defendants as the executives of the PENGASSAN branch. That none of the 2nd to 17th persons cited for contempt was served with the form 48, form 49 or the application for committal for contempt for order of 12/6/18. On 11/5/18 this court delivered ruling dismissing the preliminary objection of the defendants in this suit by which they challenged the jurisdiction of this court. On 25/5/18 an appeal was lodged against the said decision as per exhibit FGN 1. The appearance of 1st to 17th respondents was in protest. The order of 22/1/16 is an interim order of injunction which was made to subsist until the motion on notice dated 21/1/16 is heard. The said motion on notice is no longer before the court and thus the interim order is spent. The order of 22/1/16, has elapsed by effluxion of time. The 2nd to 10th defendants/respondents filed an 11 paragraphs counter-affidavit. The counter-affidavit was sworn to by one Femi Ademola, a counsel in the law firm representing the defendants in court. In the counter affidavit it was stated that the 2nd to 10th defendants were not personally served with motion on notice for contempt. It was stated that this court lacks jurisdiction to entertain this suit. That the order of 22/1/16 expired and dissipated by effluxion of time on 29th of January 2016, being an interim order of injunction. The 2nd to 10th defendants/respondents have never in any way disobeyed the order of court. That at all time prior to commencement of this suit and making of order of 22/1/16, the 2nd to 10th the 2nd to 10th defendants/respondents, were the acting interim executives of Petroleum Equalization Funds (Management) Board, branch. There is no word, sentence or paragraph of the order of 22/1/16, that restrained the 2nd to 10th defendants/respondents from acting in this capacity as the acting/interim executive of Petroleum Equalization Funds Management Board (FEFMB) Branch. The claimants /applicants breached the order by writing letter to minister of petroleum received on 7th April 2016 during the pendency of this action asking the minister not to recognize 3rd to 17th defendants. In the written address four issues were formulated for determination. They are: 1. Whether the order of this honourable court of 22/1/16 is still valid and subsisting. 2. Whether the contempt proceeding is a nullity; 3. Whether the complainants have proved breach of the order by the respondents. 4. Whether it is equitable to grant the order of committal in the circumstances of this case. Issue One J. I. Nwabufor, Esq, counsel for the 2nd to 10th defendants/respondents in arguing issue one submitted that it has been over two years since the interim order of injunction was granted and the said motion on notice of 21/1/16, was never moved by the complainants/applicants. Counsel contended by order 11 (2) & (3) of the National Industrial Court Rules 2007, which was applicable at the time the order was made, the order was to last for 7 days. Counsel submitted that the Supreme Court decision in BRITTANIA-U NIG. LTD V SEPLAT PETROLEUM DEVEOLPMENT COMPANY LTD & ORS. (2016) LPELR-40007(SC), clearly shows that an interim order of injunction is meant to last for short period, as it is first aid measure taken to save a given situation and not an open ended restriction. Counsel urged the court in the light of the Supreme Court decision to hold that the interim order of 22/1/16 has expired on 29/1/16 and the order deemed discharged without any need for an order of court discharging same. On this contention counsel relied on the case of R-BENKAY (NIG.) LTD V CADBURY (NIG.) LTD (2002) 9 NWLR (Pt.1306) 616. In the alternative counsel urged the court to hold that the said motion of 21/1/16, is no longer pending before the court and/or has been abandoned, as such the order is deemed to have been spent. Counsel also urged the court to take judicial notice of the fact that the complainants have amended their originating processes by inter alia withdrawing the names of all the complainants save two who are presently prosecuting this matter and amend originating process reflecting the change. It is in further alternative argued that the complainants were given seven days to amend their processes by changing the parties the said motion, which in effect means it has been withdrawn. They amended all other processes except the motion on notice dated 21/1/16. The claimants’ failure to move the said motion and amend amounted to abandoning it, which in effect mean withdrawal. They cannot seek to rely on it again for interlocutory injunction, hence the interim order lapsed. Counsel submitted assuming without conceding that the motion is still extant and having not amended same, the applicants will be in contempt of court for disobeying the order to amend all their processes which was given on 5/1/17. It is settled contemnor cannot be heard in an action except the party is purged of the contempt on this counsel relied on the case of AG. ED. V BI-COURTENY LTD (2014) LPELR. Issue Two Counsel submitted that forms 48, 49 and the motion for committal order dated 12/6/18, were not properly served. Counsel argued that the combined effect of Order 1X rules 5(1) and 13(1) of the Judgment Enforcement rules and Order 29 Rule 2(2) of the National Industrial Court Rules 2017 is that the said forms 48 and 49 ought to be served personally and failure to serve them personally nullifies the entire proceedings. It is argued that the order of 24/5/18, was meant to serve forms 48 and 49 by substituted means on the respondents, which are 11 in number in the main suit. The 5th to 17th persons cited for contempt were not listed as respondents in the said enrolled order dated 24/5/18. It is trite leave to serve by substituted means obtained by complainants does not apply to them and thus, they ought to be served personally. Failure to serve them personally nullifies the contempt proceeding against them. On this counsel cited the case of AOE V OLOMO 2010 LPELR, EFCC , CHAIRMAN V ONWU 2016 2 NWLR PT.1495 86. DIKIBO V IBULUYA 2006 16 NWLR PT.1006 577. ISSUE THREE In arguing issue three, counsel submitted that in the affidavit of Declan Agrinya, the complainants’ enumerated certain actions that form the bedrock of this contempt proceeding as stated below:- 1. The 2nd, 3rd and 7th respondents swore in the 9th – 17th respondents as executives of FEFMB branch on March 23 and 24, 2017. 2. The 1st defendant at its national executive council meeting held on 12/5/16, suspended the complainants for instituting this action. 3. The 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th signed an agreement at the joint consultative council meeting held from 19th – 21st July 2017, wherein they proposed to deny the complainants their benefits and emoluments for taking the 1st respondent to court. 4. The 2nd 5th and 6th respondents prevented the 1st complainant from attending the national delegate conference 2017. It is argued that the complainants themselves confirms that the 9th – 17th respondents were appointed executive of FEFMB branch since sometime in December 2015. This fact was contained in paragraphs 8 & 9 of the claimants’ amended statement of facts. The appointment preceded order of 21/1/2016, for having been made before order of 22/1/16 was made. It is the contention of counsel that there is no evidence of disobedience of the court order. The newspaper publication being relied is inadmissible. Counsel cited KUBOR V DICKSON (2012) LPELR-9817(SC). Even if admissible, newspaper cut has no evidential value in law. KASHAMU V AG FEDERATION (2013) LPELR-22357(CA), NJOKU V JONATHAN 2015 LPELR 24496. It is also argued that the resolution is only restatement of already existing status. ODULANA V OLADEJO 2012 LPELR-9733, defined status quo as ‘’ the situation that currently exists’; and the situation of 1st claimant as at 21/1/16, he was a suspended member of 1st respondent. For the 2nd claimant no evidence that he was denied of any right of membership of PENGASSAN. In concluding his submission counsel urged the court to dismiss the complainants/applicants’ application for committal for lack of proof. COURT’S DECISION. I have carefully and painstakingly considered the processes filed, as well as the arguments canvassed by parties for and against this application. The application is seeking for order of court to commit to prison, the persons cited as contemnors in accordance with the provisions of Order 63 Rules (1) & (2) of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (Civil Procedure) Rules 2017. The complainants/applicants formulated single issue for determination. While the 1st and 11th defendants in the main suit and 1st, 4th to 17th respondents in the contempt proceedings formulated four issues for determination. The 2nd to 10th defendants in the main suit on the other hand did not submit any issue for determination, instead they based their opposition in arguing against the grant of this application based on four grounds. Having regard to the processes filed and submissions of all the counsel appearing, I shall adopt the issue formulated by the complainants/applicants in determining this application. F. Baba Isa, Esq; the counsel for the complainants/applicants in arguing in favour of this application submitted that the complainants/applicants have shown beyond reasonable doubt, via the deposition in the affidavit and exhibits attached therein that there is a live and subsisting order of this honourable court given on 22/1/16, which has been breached by the defendants/respondents. It is the contention of counsel that the defendants/respondents have been duly served with forms 48 and 49, but refused to purge themselves of the disobedience of the court order. Counsel argued the order of 22/1/16 is very clear and unambiguous and the defendants/respondents deliberately refused purge themselves of contempt. Counsel contended that the defendants/respondents being in contempt cannot be heard any further in this court on any matter until they purge themselves of contempt. Counsel submitted the right and power of court to punish or pronounce sanctions on whoever disobeys its orders is inherent and legitimate right of the court. Counsel submitted that the jurisdiction of this court to commit the defendants/respondents for contempt has been properly activated this court is clothe with powers to punish for contempt. Counsel urged the court in the interest of justice to and jus administration of justice to punish the defendants for flagrant disobedience of the order of this court. J. I. Nwabufor, Esq; the counsel for the 2nd to 10th defendants/respondents who also hold the brief of R. U. Ezeani, Esq; counsel for the 1st and 11th defendants/respondents as well as 1st, 4th to 17th respondents cited as contemnors, in arguing in opposition submitted that non- of the defendants and the parties cited for contempt have been served personally with forms 48 and 49 of the Sherriff and Civil Process Act. Counsel submitted that the failure to personally serve the contemnors is fatal and rendered the application for contempt defective and should be dismissed. It is the argument of counsel that the order of 22/1/16, based on which this application for committal was filed has expired in line with order 11(2) (3) of the National Industrial Court Rules 2007, under which the order was made. It is also argued that none of the persons cited, committed contempt of the order of 22/1/16. The reason being that the complainants have been on suspension for two years before the order of court was made. According to counsel status quo is that the claimants have been on suspension. It is also submitted that the complainants/applicants are themselves guilty of contempt of the order of the court for writing to the Minister of State Petroleum not to recognize the defendants. Counsel urged court to dismiss the application. Having considered the arguments and submissions of counsel for both parties, as well as paragraphs of the affidavits, the question that arises is whether indeed the parties sought to be committed for contempt have been duly served the required processes, i.e. Forms ‘48', ‘49’ and the motion on notice for committal. For proper appreciation it is apt at this juncture to reproduce the relevant averment in the affidavit in support, as follows:- 4. That I know as a fact that this honourable court gave an order on the 22/1/16 for parties to maintained status quo pending the determination of this suit. The said order is hereby attached and marked as exhibit AA. 5. That I know as a fact that this order with the complaint was served on the defendants on or about January, 2016. 6. That I know as a fact that this order is still alive and subsisting. 7. That I know as a fact that the defendants/respondents are aware of this live and subsisting order and have been so aware since on or about January 2016. The defendants/respondents have been part of this proceeding and actively so. 16. That in spite of the fact that I know as a fact that the defendants/respondents are aware of this live and subsisting court order, the defendants/respondents were served with forms 48 and 49 to afford them the opportunity to purge themselves; they refused and persisted in breaching the live and subsisting order of court. Copies of the said forms are hereby attached and marked as exhibit G1 & 2. 17. That I know as a fact that this court granted an order to serve the respondents through substituted means, personal service not being feasible. The said order is hereby attached and marked as exhibit HHH. The 1st and 11th defendants/respondents and 1st, 4th to 17th respondents in the counter-affidavit averred that on 19/6/18, nine copies of forms 49 dated 6/6/18, were served at the address of the 1st respondent at U. M. Okoro House, 288 Ikorodu Road, Anthony, Lagos, without an indication of the particular nine out of the seventeen respondents whose copies were served. It was not known the particular persons the nine copies of the form 49 are meant for as there are 17 persons cited for contempt. On 25/6/18, eight copies of the motion for an order of committal dated 12/6/18 was served at the address of the 1st respondent without an indication of the particular eight out of the seventeen respondents whose copies were served. No form 48 ever (sic) served on the 1st respondent whether for itself or for any of the other parties cited. The 1st and 11th defendants in the main suit and the 5th -17th respondents cited for contempt were not personally served with the said order made on 22/1/16. The 2nd respondent cited for contempt claimed that he was neither personally served with the present application nor was he personally served with the order of court dated 22/1/18, or with any forms 48 or form 49. The 2nd to 17th. The 2nd to 10th defendants/respondents maintained that they never committed contempt of order of this court. It is trite law that proceeding for contempt being one that affect the liberty of citizen, strict compliance with the law is mandatory for the contempt proceedings to be valid. See MORA V ADEYEYE 1990 4 NWLR PT.142 76. The counsel for the defendants/respondents in the main suit and the respondents in the contempt proceeding have forcefully argued that the entire contempt proceeding is defective due to non-service of the motion on notice for committal, forms 48 and 49 on the parties cited for contempt. While counsel for the complainants/applicants insisted that there is no defect in the procedure for committal. In law service of originating process commencing an action is sine quo nom for court to assume jurisdiction and tried the case. Service is fundamental and goes to the root of the entire proceeding. Contempt proceeding being sui generis is no exception, service of the motion on notice initiating the proceedings as well as forms 48 and 49 are very crucial to the validity of all steps to be taken in the proceeding. The provision of order 9 rule 13 (1), (2) and (3), Judgment enforcement Rules of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act and Order 63 Rule 2(1) of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (civil Procedure) rules 2017, clearly provided that a judgment creditor who intends to commence committal proceeding against a judgment debtor has to apply to the registrar who shall issue a copy of the order endorsed with a notice in form 48, then that endorsed copy shall be served on the judgment debtor in like manner as the judgment summons. The law require personal service of the endorsed order on the respondents. If not served it is fatally irregular and subsequent proceedings based on it should be dismissed. See OMOPENA V ADELAJA (supra), KADIRI V KADIRI (1990) 5 NWLR (Pt.153) 665. The same result follows if the order is not served at all. The service must be personal. Motion and forms 48 and 49 must be personally served. See UHUMWANGHO V OKOJIE (1989) 5 NWLR 471, ENABRIHERI V ATAMABO (1967) NMLR 216, and the need for such service is not obviated or dispensed with merely because the judgment debtor knows of the existence of the order even if he was in court when it was made. See TUCK, MURCH V LOOSE,ORE (1906) 1 CH 692. But, where he proved that a party knows of the order and is evading service, or there is difficulty in effecting service, substituted service may be allowed. See Order 63 Rule 2, KISTLER V TETTMAR (1905) 1 KB 39, R V WIGOND (1913) 2 KB 419. In the case at hand there is an order for substituted service of forms 48 and 49 and the motion on notice for committal. The respondents seventeen in number cited for contempt have averred that they were never served with the motion on notice for committal as well as forms 48 and 49 and that the order of substituted service is not meant for them, as they were not listed as parties on the enrolled order. The complainants on the other hand insisted that the respondents have been duly served with all the processes for the contempt proceedings. It is to be noted that apart from the bare assertion of service by the complainants/applicants there is no affidavit of service and the bailiff who effected the purported service was not called to testify before the court in support of service on the respondents. The denial of service by the respondents cited in the contempt proceedings means the burden of proving service has shifted to the complainants/applicants. In view of the denial by the respondents and in order to resolve the conflict in the assertion of the parties, I shall resort to examination of the record of the court in order to see if there is proof of service on the respondents as claimed by the complainants/applicants. I have combed the entire case file, there is no affidavit of service filed by the Bailiff who effected the service on the respondents. But there is in the case file a copy each of forms 48 and 49 and motion on notice for committal meant for endorsement and return, which is also one of the forms of establishing service under the rules. From the record form 48, filed at the registry of this court on 31/5/18. There was at the back of the process shown that on 7/6/18, the process was received at the office of the 1st respondent, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), meant for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10 and 11th defendants. Likewise there in the record of the court evidence to show form 49, filed on 8/6/18, at the registry of the court was on 14/6/18, received at 1st defendant office meant for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10 and 11th defendants. However, a part from the official stamp of the 1st respondent affixed to proof of service, the name of the person who received the processes as well as his designation and signature were all absent on the proof of service. There is also proof that the motion on notice dated 12/6/18 filed on 14/6/18 at the registry of this court was on 25/6/18, received at the office of 1st defendant meant for 1st to 11th defendants. The proof does not have the name, designation and signature of the officer who received the processes for and on behalf of the 1st to 11th defendants. From the above exposition, it is clear to the eyes that forms 48 and 49 as well as the motion on notice dated 12/6/18 and filed on 14/6/18, were never served on the persons cited for contempt as 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th respondents. It is only 1st 2nd 4th and 11th respondents that could be said to have been served. This is because they were listed as 1st 2nd 3rd and 4th defendants/respondents in the main suit and they were served by substituted means as ordered by the court. As pointed out in earlier part of this ruling, service of originating process in a proceeding before a court is fundamental, as lack of service will constitute another fundamental defect as it breached the right to fair hearing of the party not served. Absence of service affect jurisdiction and render a court’s proceeding a nullity. See SKEN CONSULT NIG. LTD V GODWIN SECONDY UKEY (1981) 1 SC 6, MARK V EKE (1997) 11 NWLR (PT.529) 501. In view of lack of evidence of service on 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th respondents, this court cannot exercise its jurisdiction over them in respect of the contempt proceeding. Therefore, they are not properly before the court. Even if they were in court when the order was made they cannot be the subject of the jurisdiction of this court since they have not been served with the originating process initiating the contempt proceedings. There must be actual proof of service on necessary parties, i.e evidence of receipt or an affidavit of service. See HABIB NIG. BANK LTD V WAHAB OPOMULERO & ORS 2000 15 NWLR PT.690 315. Another issue raised by the defendants/respondents and the respondents cited for contempt is the validity of the order of 22/1/16, which is the fulcrum of the complainants/applicants grouse. The complainants/applicants argued that the order of 22/1/16, is a live order directing the defendants to maintain status quo in respect of this suit pending determination of motion on notice dated 21/1/16. The defendants argued per contra. Counsel insisted that the order of 22/1/16, which is the subject matter of this contempt proceeding is nonexistence as the said order has elapsed on 29/1/16. In support of this contention counsel relied on order 11 Rule 3 of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria 2007, which was the applicable rules when the order was made. The resolution of this issue will depend on proper interpretation of Order 11 Rule 3 of the National Industrial Court of Rules 2007. The rule read:- Order 11 Rule 2(3) ‘‘An order of injunction made upon an application ex-parte shall abate after 7 days except the court subsequently otherwise direct in the interest of justice or to prevent an irreparable or serious mischief’’. I would reiterate that it is well settled canon of interpretation and application of the provisions of a statute or an enactment, where the language used are clear and unambiguous as in the instance case, they must be given their ordinary and actual meaning as such terms or words used best declare the intention of the law makers unless this would lead to absurdity or be in conflict with some other provisions thereof therefore, where the language and intent of an enactment is apparent, court must not distort their meaning. See OLATUNDE V OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY (1998) 5 NWLR (PT.549) 178. The duty of court is to ascertain the meaning of words used therein by reading them in the ordinary grammatical sense and to give effect to them unless such construction would lead to some absurdity or would be plainly repugnant to the intention to be collected from the other parts of the statute or enactment. See BUHARI V OBASANJO 2005 ALL FWLR PT.273 1, AG KANO V AG FEDERATION (2007) ALL FWLR (PT.364) 238. It should always be remembered that the duty of court to interpret the words of the statute as used. Those words may be ambiguous, but even if they are the power and duty of the court to travel outside them on a voyage of discovery are strictly limited. See ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION V ATTORNEY GENERAL OF BENDEL STATE (1981) 10 SC 1. Having at the back of the mind the literal rule of interpretation the words used in Order 11 Rule2(3) are clear and unambiguous and must be given their literal and ordinary meaning so as to avoid causing violence to the intendment of the rule. To that extent it clear that under the 2007 rules, under which the order of 22/1/16, was made, the lifespan of an ex-parte order is 7 days and no more, except the court subsequently, otherwise directs in the interest of justice or to prevent irreparable serious mischief. The use of the ward abate simply means the order at the expiration of 7 days shall disappear or come to an end. The complaints/applicant having not shown that the court subsequently directs otherwise cannot claim any right on the said order as it has been vacated as per back as 29/1/16 by operation of law. See Order 11 Rule 2(3) of the National Industrial Court Rules 2007. Apart from the order having elapsed by operation of law, it will be unreasonable to expect an interim order to last for over two years. If such happened it will be against the spirit and intendment of the purpose of granting of an interim order of injunction which should be for a short period or to last for a named date see KOTOYE V CBN (1989) 1 NWLR (pt.89) 419, OBEYA MEMORIAL SPECIALIST HOSPITAL V AG OF THE FEDERATION (1987) NWLR (Pt.60) 325. Taking into account the purport of order of interim injunction, no court will allow a party to dribble his way and use interim order of injunction to serve as a victory for him. This application has raised the issue of the need for party granted interim order of injunction to always be very vigilant and upon doing, by ensuring that the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction is heard timeously without let or hindrance. In view of my finding that the originating processes commencing the contempt proceeding have not been served on some of the persons cited for contempt and the finding that there was no subsisting live order of court for the simple reason that the order has elapsed on 29/1/16, there is no valid contempt proceeding before the court. In the circumstances the present contempt proceeding is here by refused for lacking in merit and it is hereby dismissed. Sanusi Kado, Judge.