RULING. This ruling is in respect of two applications filed by two sets of defendants being represented by two different law firms. The applications were on same issue though couched differently. The first motion on notice dated 2nd day of July 2018, was filed on the same day by the 1st and 11th defendants/applicants. In the application the defendants/applicants are praying for an order of this court staying further proceedings in this cause/matter pending the determination of the defendants/appellants appeal to the Court of Appeal. The application is supported by a 14 paragraphs affidavit, sworn to by one Abdullahi Danladi Auta, a member of the Petroleum Equalization Fund (Management) Board branch of the 1st defendant. A written address was also filed along with the motion on notice. The grounds for the application are: 1. That by virtue of notice of appeal dated and filed on 25/5/18, the defendants/applicants appealed against the ruling of this honourable court delivered in this suit on 11/5/18. 2. The said appeal is capable of disposing of this cause/matter pending before this honourable court if successful. 3. The said appeal raises a challenge to the jurisdiction of this honourable court to entertain this suit. 4. This application for stay of proceedings is to preserve the res in this case. 5. It will cause incalculable hardship if this suit proceeds in the circumstances and is not stayed. In the affidavit in support of the application, it was stated that the defendants/applicants have appealed to the Court of Appeal against the ruling of this court on jurisdiction. The appeal is capable of disposing of this matter. If stay is not granted the court of appeal will be foisted with a situation of complete helplessness. In the written address a single issue was distilled for determination, to wit: ‘‘Whether this is a proper case for grant of stay of proceedings pending appeal’’. J. I. Nwabufor, Esq; counsel holding brief of Rudy U. Ezeani, Esq; while arguing the application relied on the depositions in the affidavit in support and adopted the written address as his argument. It is the submission of counsel that this is a proper case for grant of stay of proceedings pending appeal. Counsel argued that the defendants/applicants have met the relevant conditions for grant of stay proceedings. On this submission counsel relied on the case of EZE V OKOLONJI (1997) 7 NWLR (Pt.513) 515. Counsel contended that vide exhibit 1, there is a valid pending appeal. The grounds of appeal having been on jurisdiction are strong, substantial and arguable. They deal with question of fair hearing of the defendants/applicants’ preliminary objection. To support this contention counsel relied on the case of COCA-COLA V AKINSANYA (2013) 18 NWLR (Pt.1386) 255, MONTERRY NIG. LTD V SINDERNG NIG. LTD (2012) LPELR-19767(CA). Counsel also contended that there exists special and exceptional circumstances to warrant the grant of this application. Counsel argued that the defendants/applicants are challenging jurisdiction which amounts to special and exceptional circumstance hence the court should stay proceedings pending appeal. In support of this contention counsel relied on the case of MOBIL PROD. NIG. UNLTD V AYENI (2008) 1 NWLR (Pt.1067) 185. Counsel submitted that where appeal disposes of a case pending before a court a stay of proceeding will be granted. The defendants/applicants are contesting non-fulfillment of condition precedent which renders this court incompetent to try this case. In support of this submission counsel relied on OBINYIRIUKA V ALICHE & ANOR. (1991) 4 NWLR (Pt.183) 87. Counsel argued that there is also the need to preserve the res from destruction. There is need to preserve the res in order not to foist on the Court of Appeal fait acompli. On this proposition of law counsel relied on KIGO V HOLMAN BROTHERS LTD (1980) 5-7 SC 60, SHODEINDE V AHAMADIYYA (1980) 1-2 SC 163. It is the submission of counsel that there is the need to protect fundamental right, particularly the right to fair hearing, which forms the gravamen of the defendants/applicants challenge to the jurisdiction of the court. In concluding his submission counsel submitted that this is a proper case to grant stay of proceedings pending appeal. The second application seeking for stay of proceeding was filed by the 2nd to 10th defendants/applicants. The motion on notice was dated and filed on 22/11/18, brought pursuant to order 64 of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2017. The application is praying for an order of stay of proceeding of this court pending determination of the appeal filed on this matter by the defendants/applicants. The grounds for this application were two folds. First, the defendants/applicants have entered a notice of appeal at the Court of Appeal which discloses substantial and recondite questions of law. Secondly, that proceeding with the hearing will prejudice the defendants/applicants before the appeal is heard. The application is supported by a 7 paragraphs affidavit, sworn to by one Femi Ademola, one of the counsel in the law firm representing the defendants/applicants. In the affidavit in support of the application, it was averred that the 2nd to 10th defendants have filed an appeal against in respect of the ruling of this curt on jurisdiction. Continuation with the hearing will prejudice the defendants/right to fair hearing at the appeal court. In the written address a sole issue was formulated for determination to the effect that: ‘‘Whether the defendants/applicants have shown an entitlement for the grant of the order to stay proceedings of this court pending determination of the appeal filed’’. In arguing the issue for determination, J. I. Nwabufo, Esq; counsel for the 2nd to 10th defendants/applicants relied on the averments in the affidavit in support and adopted the written address as his argument. Counsel submitted that jurisdiction is lifeline of trials and cannot be ignored and a trial without jurisdiction is a nullity. FAYEMI V L.G.S.C. OYO STATE (2005) 6 NWLR (Pt.921) 280; NIGERIA AIRFORCE V JAMES (2002) 18 NWLR (Pt.798) 295, ABIMBOLA V PISSON FISKO NIG. LTD (1991) 1 NWLR (Pt.167) 270 and UTIH V ONOYIVWE (1991) 1 NWLR (pt.166) 166; S. O. AKEGBEJO & ORS. V DR. O. O. ATAGA & ORS. V (1998) 1 NWLR (PT.534) 459; PEENOCKS INV. LTD V HOTEL PRESIDENTIAL LTD (1983) 4 NCLR 122, OSADEBEY V A-G BENDEL STATE (1991) 1 NWLR (Pt.169) v 525, NPA V EYAMBA (2005) 12 NWLR (Pt.939) 409. It is the contention of counsel that parties cannot waive issue of lack of jurisdiction nor can they vest in a court which lacks it and even if the defendants/applicants failed to raise this point, the court has a duty to raise and determine same accordingly. To support his position counsel placed reliance on the cases of MILITARY GOVERNOR OYO STATE V ADEKUNLE (2005) 42 WRN 119, OKAFOR V EZENWA (1992) 4 NWLR (PT.237) 611 and MOBIL PRODUCING UNLTD V MONAKPO (2004) ALL FWLR (PT.195) 575. It is the submission of counsel that parties cannot by connivance, acquiescence or collusion confer jurisdiction on a court where jurisdiction is lacking, as in the present case. On this submission counsel found support in the cases of OKOLO V UNION BANK OF NIG. PLC (2004) ALL FWLR (pt.197), FGN V OSHIMOLE (2004) 3 NWLR (PT.860) 305. It is also the submission of counsel that the application has satisfies the conditions for grant of a stay of proceedings, in that there is valid pending appeal, all materials facts are before the court, the appeal is over jurisdiction and competence of court, that refusal to grant this application will cause hardship to the applicants among others. To buttress his position counsel cited OKAFOR V NNAIFE (1987) 4 NWLR (PT.64) 129, KOTOYE V SARAKI (1993) 5 NWLR (PT.296) 710. It is the contention of counsel that this court has inherent power to grant the prayer being sought. However, the exercise of discretion should be judicious and judicially, in that if proceedings continues and appeal succeed, it will render the appeal nugatory. On this submission counsel relied on NALSA AND TEAM ASSOCIATION V NNPC (1996) 3 NWLR (PT.439) 621, BILBIS V A-G ZAMFARA (2003) 9 NWLR (PT.826) 624. Counsel submitted that this application substantially meets most of the above requirements when especially placed besides the averment in the affidavit in support. In concluding his submission counsel urged the court to stay proceeding to enable conclusive determination of jurisdiction of this court. The defendants did not file counter-affidavit, but chose to reply orally on points of law. F. Baba Isa, Esq; counsel for the claimant, begun his reply by submitting that the application was brought pursuant to Order 64 of the rules of this court. By Rules 2 and 5 of Order 64, an applicant for stay is required to compile record of appeal and show evidence of payment for compilation of the record of appeal. The applications have no such evidence before the court. Therefore, the applicants did not comply with the provision of the rules of court under which it was brought. Counsel contended the rules required making payment and obtaining receipt, the applicants have no such evidence of payment for compilation before the court. Counsel submitted due to non-compliance, the application for stay is incompetent. It is the submission of counsel that Rule 9 of order 64 clearly provided that an applicant for stay must compile record within 21 days. They have not compiled within the time prescribed for the application is incompetent. Counsel also argued that the defendants/applicants are in contempt disobedience of court order and should not be granted indulgence until they purge themselves of contempt. On this argument counsel relied on the case of MOBIL NIG. UNLTD V ASSAU (1995) 8 NWLR (PT.412). Counsel urged the court to refuse the application for stay as it is an attempt to delay proceeding of the court. COURT’S DECISION. I have carefully perused the two applications seeking for stay of proceedings filed by the defendants, the affidavits in support and the addresses of counsel. I have equally attentively listened to the submission of counsel for the claimants in his oral submissions on points of law. What this court is to determine is ‘whether the defendants/applicants have made out a case for grant of stay of proceedings pending appeal’. The counsel for the defendants/applicants have submitted that they have fulfilled conditions for grant of stay and pray for grant of their application. The counsel for the claimants/respondents on his part submitted that the defendants are not entitled to order for stay due non-compliance with provisions of the order under which the application for stay was brought and also that they are in contempt of order of court. An application of this nature is seeking for exercise of court discretion which has to be exercised judicially and judiciously in line with well-established principles of law. This means that the court is entitled to consider all the facts placed before it by the parties’ i.e the affidavit in support and counter-affidavit, if any with a view to exercising its discretion, taking into account the parties competing rights to justice. The wish and desire in any litigation is for the dispute to be resolved quickly without delay. However, in deserving instances, a stoppage of the process, even if temporarily, can be ordered in the event of a meritorious application for stay of proceedings. It is to be noted that each party involve in litigation has his concerns. For the party that instituted an action, his concern is for his matter to be speedily determined. For the party defending, his concern is not to be bogged down with or pestered with vexatious or frivolous action which could be an abuse of judicial process. Therefore, in an application for stay the court is faced with some competing interest, an interest which the court must resolve or reconcile in the light of the law. Thus, courts have established a number of principles to be considered in an application for stay of proceedings. See AKHIWU V PRINCIPAL LOTTERRIES 1969 1 ALL NLR 426, AROJAYE V UBA ORS. 1986 2 NWLR PT.20 101, JADESEMI V OKOTE-EBOH NO.2 1986 1 NWLR PT.16 264, SARAKI V KOTOYE 1992 9 NWLR PT.264 156, EZE V OKOLONJI 1997 7 NWLR PT.513 515, OKEKE V YAROSON LTD ANOR 1999 11 NWLR PT.625 106. However, it must be noted that the determination of whether to grant or not to grant stay of proceeding will largely depend on the peculiar facts of each case as presented to the court. Though, section 47 of the National Industrial Court Act 2006, says that an appeal shall not operate as stay of proceeding or execution, the section has at the same time confer on the court jurisdiction to grant stay in an appropriate case. Therefore, an appellant is entitled to apply for an order for stay of further proceedings pending determination of an appeal. See KIGO NIG. LTD V HOLMAN BROTHERS LTD 1980 5-7 SC, 60, SHODEINDE V AHMADIYYA MOVEMENT 1980 1-2 SC 163, OGUNREMI V DADA 1962 2 SCNLR 417, 1962 1 ALL NLR 663, THE MILITARY GOVERNOR OF LAGOS STATE V OJUKWU 1986 2 SC 277, 1986 1 NWLR PT.18 621. The essence of the jurisdiction given to court to grant stay is to maintain status quo until the determination of the appeal and also to preserve the res, subject matter of the litigation, so as to ensure that at the end of the determination of the appeal is not rendered nugatory. See VASWANI V SAVALAKH 1972 1 ALL NLR PT.2 483, KIGO V HOLMAN BROTHERS SUPRA. The deciding factor is the quest for justice, justice for the parties on both sides. If the interest of justice is better served by granting the application for stay, the court has no choice than to grant stay. Thus, why the exercise of discretion of court to grant or refuse a stay of proceedings pending an appeal against an order of court depends on the peculiar facts and circumstance of each case. A major consideration where an interlocutory order does not finally dispose of the case is that it could be wrong to stay proceedings simply because of an appeal which has been lodged against it by an aggrieved party as such an order could be made the subject of appeal after the final judgment. If the interlocutory appeal, if successful will without much ado put an end to the proceedings in the trial court, prudence dictates that a stay of proceedings should be granted. However, an important consideration followed by court in decided authorities is that an application for stay of further proceedings must disclose first from the affidavit evidence that there is a valid pending appeal before the court of appeal and that the grounds of appeal are substantial and arguable. It is acceptable as special and exceptional circumstance where the grounds of appeal raise a genuine issue of jurisdiction and not merely as ploy to delay the hearing of the case. In the case at hand the 1st and 11th defendants/applicants have heavily relied on exhibit 1 to assert that there is a valid and subsisting appeal before the court of appeal. Exhibit 1 being relied upon by the 1st and 11th defendants/applicants is the notice of appeal filed at the registry of this court on 25/5/18. While exhibit 2 attached to the affidavit in support is a copy of receipt for payment for filing of notice of appeal. Apart from these two exhibits the 1st and 11th defendants/applicants did not attached or exhibit any other document to the affidavit in support of the application for stay of proceedings. By virtue of the provisions of Order 64 Rule 14(1) (a), (b), C), (d) and (e) of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2017, an applicant for stay of proceeding apart from filing his application for stay of proceeding pending appeal, shall pay for the compilation of records of proceeding, exhibit certified true copies of the record of proceedings for which the party is seeking stay of proceedings pending appeal and exhibit evidence that there is a valid appeal before the court of appeal. The applicant is also to exhibit evidence that the appeal has been entered in line with appropriate Rules of the Court of Appeal and exhibit evidence of leave granted by the Court of Appeal where applicable. This provision of the rules of court is aimed at ensuring that only serious appellant wishing to prosecute his appeal was granted stay and not an appellant that may use filing of appeal as a ploy to delay proceeding at the trial court. It is after fulfilment of the conditions stated in Rule 14 of Order 64 of the rules of this court that the court can consider the merit of the application for stay brought before it. The application of the 2nd to 10th defendants seeking for stay did not have any exhibit attached to the affidavit in support. The said application is also in breach of the provisions of Order 64 Rule 14(1) of the rules of this court. It is apparent that the two applications filed by the defendants/applicants seeking for stay of proceedings, were filed in disregard of the requirement of Order 64 Rule 14(1) of the rules of this court. The two applications for stay of proceeding having been filed in violation of the provisions of Rule 14(1) of Order 64 of the rules of this court are incompetent and premature. In the circumstance and in the absence of valid applications for stay of proceedings there is nothing to be considered by this court to stay. The end result is that the two applications having been found to be incompetent cannot be granted. They are hereby refused. Ruling entered accordingly. Sanusi Kado, Judge.