JUDGMENT This suit was instituted by an Originating summons brought pursuant to Order 3 Rule 16 (1) of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (Civil Procedure) Rules 2017 dated 30th May, 2018 and filed on the 1st day of June, 2018. The claimant brought the originating summons praying the court for the determination of the following questions; 1. Whether the Defendants are the appropriate and/or legal Union to represent the staff of the claimant having due regard that the claimant is a court carrying out judicial function. In the alternative; 2. Whether the 1st Defendants is the legal Trade Union body to represent the staff of the claimant. 3. Whether the threat to embark on a strike action issued by the Defendants as a trade union to the claimant is proper and/or in compliance with the Trade Disputes Act CAP T8 Laws of the Federation 2004. The RELIEFS sought by the claimant are as follows; 1. A DECLARATION that the Defendants are not the legal body to represent the staff of the claimant having due regard that the claimant is a Court. 2. A DECLARATION that the 1st Defendant is not the legal Trade Union to represent staff of the claimant 3. AN ORDER OF PERPETUAL INJUNCTION restraining the Defendants by themselves or by their privies from embarking on the strike action pending the determination of this originating summons. 4. FOR SUCH FURTHER ORDER OR OTHER ORDER(S) as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance. The Originating summons was supported by a 5 paragraph affidavit deposed to by Habu Yerima Saleh the Chief Registrar of the Investment and Securities Tribunal. In Paragraph 3 (i) of the claimant Affidavit in support of the originating summons he attached a copy of the Defendants letter giving the claimant a 7 day ultimatum to fully implement the agreement entered into by the claimant with the Defendants asking the management of the defendants to cease further anti staff policies and actions, and end the incidence of illegal and corrupt acts or else the Defendants threatened to embark on a strike action, the said letter dated 22nd May, 2018 was attached and marked EXHIBIT A. The claimant also filed a written address in support of the originating summons. In adumbration before the Court C. I. Okpoko, SAN, relied on the deposition contained in the affidavit in support. The Learned Silk also adopted the written address filed along with the originating summons as his argument. In arguing ISSUE ONE; whether the Defendants are the appropriate and/or legal Union to represent the staff of the claimant having due regard that the claimant is a court carrying out judicial function. It is submitted that a combined reading of Sections 282, 283, 284 of the Investments and Securities Act 2007 will show that the claimant and the members of staff of the Investment and Securities tribunal perform judicial functions. While section 282 establishes the post of the Registrar, Deputy Chief Registrar, Registrar. Counsel further submitted that the administrative head of the staff of the claimant is the Chief Registrar appointed by the Minister. Reliance was placed on the provisions of section 280 of the Investments & Securities Act 2007 which states inter alia: “The salaries and allowances of the chairman, members, and Chief Registrar of the Tribunal shall be equivalent to that of the Chief Judge, judges and Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court Respectively”. From the above provision the claimant argued that since the Tribunal performs the functions of a Court of Law in Nigeria the appropriate union to represent the interest of the staff should be the Judicial Staff Union Investments Tribunal Branch and not the 1st Defendant. It is the contention of counsel that the Third Schedule Part B item 2 of the Trade Union Act which provides for the jurisdictional scope of the 1sty defendant; AMALGAMATEDUNION OF PUBLIC CORPORATION, CIVIL SERVICE TECHNICAL AND RECREATIONAL SERVICES EMPLOYEES shall be; “All junior staff employed in the Federal and State Corporations; Civil service employees classified as technical workers of sports commissions and stadia; public recreation clubs by whatever name called; swimming pools; amusement centres including carnivals, circuses, zoological gardens and services similarly classified, excluding Radio, Television, Nitel, Nipost, Railways, Nigeria airways and other corporation workers already unionised. COMPONENTS: 1. CIVIL SERVICE Technical Workers Union of Nigeria 2. National Union of Public Corporation Employees. 3. Recreational Services Employees Union.” The counsel for the claimant urged the Court to find in their favour and declare as wrongful, illegal, null and void the activities of the 2nd and 3rd Defendants parading themselves as chairman and secretary of Investments & Securities Tribunal Branch of the 1st Defendant. Counsel urged the Court to resolve issue one in favour of the Claimant. In arguing issue three; Whether the threat to embark on a strike action issued by the Defendants as a trade union to the claimant is proper and /or in compliance with the Trade Disputes Act CAP T8 Laws of the Federation 2004. It is the contention of counsel for the claimant that the issuance of threat letter without more by the Defendants breached the provisions of section 18 of the Trade Dispute Act. The reproduced the provisions of the section which states; “An employer shall not declare or take part in a lock out and a worker shall not take part in a strike connection with any trade dispute where- The procedure specified in section 4 or 6 of this Act has not complied with in relation to the dispute; or A conciliator has been appointed under section 8 of this Act for the purpose of effecting a settlement of dispute; or The dispute has been referred for settlement to the Industrial Arbitration Panel under Section 9 of this Act; The claimant further reproduced the provisions of section 4 of the Act which provides; “if there exists agreed means for settlement of the dispute apart from this Act, whether by virtue of the provisions of any apart from this Act, whether by virtue of the provisions of any agreement between organisations representing the interests of employers and organisation of workers or any other agreement, the parties to the dispute shall first attempt to settle it by that means. If the attempt to settle the dispute as provided in subsection (1) of this section fails, the parties shall within seven days of the failure (or, if no such means exists, within seven days of the date on which seven days of the date on which the dispute arises or is first apprehended) meet together by themselves or their representatives, under the presidency of a mediator mutually agreed upon and appointed by or on behalf of the parties, with a view to amicable settlement of the dispute”. It is the contention of counsel that the 10 points raised in Exhibit A were never the agreements reached during settlement meetings between the current management of the claimant and Defendants’ representative. It is further argued that the nature of grievances raised by the Defendants in Exhibit A are such that the current management of Investment and Securities Tribunal cannot grant without the approval of the supervising Ministry and/ or the Accountant General of the Federation. In concluding argument on this issues counsel submitted that a request to the Ministry has been made for consideration and approval. The claimant concluded argument on the written address in support of the originating summons by urging the Court to declare the actions of the Defendants in writing Exhibit A wrongful and in flagrant breach of the provisions of Section B (item 2 “Area of Jurisdiction”) of the 3rd schedule of the Trade Unions Act and the provisions of sections 4 and 18 of the Trade Dispute Act. DEFENDANTS’ CASE The Defendants memorandum of appearance dated the 25th day of June, 2018 and filed on the same day. They also filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection dated 3rd Day of July, 2018 and filed same day. The Preliminary objection was brought on the following grounds; 1. The claimant is not a juristic person and cannot sue or be sued on behalf of Investment and Securities Tribunal in the manner constituted in this suit. 2. This Honourable Court lacks jurisdiction to hear and determine this suit as presently constituted in this suit. 3. This suit as presently constituted is incompetent and an abuse of court process. In arguing their Preliminary Objection the Defendants raised a sole issue for determination; WHETHER THIS SUIT AS PRESENTLY CONSTITUTED IS NOT INCOMPETENT AND ABUSE OF COURT PROCESS? In arguing the issue raised Counsel for the Defendants relied on the case of ESUNG ASUQUO V BASSEY ETIM WILLIAM (2018) LPELR -44045 (CA) P.7, PARAS B-C where the Court of Appeal while considering competency of Courts held as follows; “The law is certain that any defect in competence is fatal for the proceedings of any court in exercise of jurisdiction no matter how well conducted and decided are in nullity. In order not to engage in any fruitless exercise every court whether at trial or appellate level must be sure of its competence before embarking in the hearing of any cause or matter”. Counsel argued that the claimant is not a juristic person capable of suing on behalf of the Investment and Securities Tribunal. The claimant cannot sue or be sued on behalf of the Investments and Securities Tribunal which in essence robs the Court of Jurisdiction. They further relied on Part XVI of the Investment and Securities Act which provides for the establishment, jurisdiction, authority and procedure of the Investment and Securities Tribunal spanning through sections 274 to 297 of the Act. They argued that there is no provision in the Act authorizing the claimant to sue on behalf of the Tribunal. They further relied MAERSK LINE & ANOR V ADDIDE INVESTMENT LTD (2002) LPELR (SC) PP.30-31 PARASF-B where the Supreme Court held; “The law is settled that a non-juristic person generally, cannot sue or be sued. In AGBOMAGBE BANK LTD V GENERAL MANAGER, G B OLIVANT LTD & ORS (1961) 1 ALL NLR 116; (1961) 2 SCNLR it was held that General Manager, G.B Olivant Ltd is not descriptive of a juristic person. The Defendant so named was struck out of the action on a preliminary objection. It was further held that naming a non-juristic person as a defendant is not a misnomer and cannot be amended to substitute a juristic person. See also MANAGER SCOA BENIN CITY V MOMODU (UNREPORTED) SUIT NO SC. 23/1964 delivered on 17th November,1964. It was held that a non-juristic person cannot sue and be sued. They further relied on the case of HON. JOEL DANLAMI IKENYA V EMMANUEL BWACHA & ORS. (2011) LPELR-19747 (CA) P.32 PARAS D-G where the Court held “The question that comes to my mind is what the consequence of abuse of court process is? It is my view that once a court is satisfied that any proceeding before it is an abuse of court process, it has the power, indeed the duty to stay, strike out or dismiss it to invoke its coercive power to punish the party which is in abuse of its process. Quite often, the power is exercisable by a dismissal of action which constitutes the abuse”. Counsel submitted that by insisting that the claimant has only employed the process of this court in the suit to annoy, embarrass and oppress the Defendants and urged the court to dismiss the suit with a punitive cost of N500,000 (five hundred thousand Naira only). The Defendants also filed their 19 paragraphs counter-affidavit dated 17th January, 2019 and filed same day in opposition to the originating summons dated 30th May, 2018 deposed to by one Comrade Onesimus K. Maikenti who is the 3rd Defendant in the suit where he stated that Paragraphs 3, 4c, 4d, 4e, 4f and 5 of the claimant’s affidavit in support of the originating Summons are untrue. It was averred in paragraph 9 of the counter-affidavit that the members of the 1st Defendant and its members are not interested in strike action and did not serve the notice of strike action on the claimant. It was further averred that Exhibit A as attached and marked by the claimant is not a notice of strike but a demand for implementation of agreement between the Investment and Securities Tribunal and members of the 1st Defendant, entered into on the 13th March 2018. The said agreement has been attached and annexed as EXHIBIT AUPCTRE 1. It was also averred in Paragraph 14 of the counter affidavit that on 30th May, 2018 the Chairman of the Investment and securities Tribunal vide exhibit AUPCTRE 2 had invited the Defendants to a meeting to discuss the implementation of the agreement dated 13th March 2018 (EXHIBIT AUPCTRE 1). In their written address in support of the counter affidavit in opposition to the originating summons dated 30th May, 2018, counsel for the defendants formulated two issues for determination; ISSUE ONE: Whether it is the prerogative of the Investment and Securities Tribunal to determine the trade union its staff should belong for protection of their rights and interest in its employment? In arguing this issue counsel for the defendants forcefully argued that workers have a right to belong to trade union of their own choice for the protection of their rights and interest under our labour jurisprudence and as safeguard under section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). It is further argued that membership of trade union is solely the prerogative of workers and not employers. The Defendants placed weighty reliance on the case of NESTOIL V NUPENG (2012) 29 NLLR (PT 82) AT 156-157 PARAS F-A where the Court restated the law as follows; “An employer has no right or interest in asking an employee to either join a particular union or not join a union. In other words, an employer has no right whatsoever to interfere in Union matters. In the case of NASU V VICE CHANCELLOR, UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE , ABEOKUTA UNREPORTED SUIT NO NIC/LA/15/2011 the judgment of which was delivered on February 21, 2012, this Court stated as follows; The right to trade unionism is a fundamental right of workers entrenched in the constitution. The right is so important that employers are enjoined not to interfere with its exercise in any way. An employer cannot compel workers to join a particular union; or form a union for workers; or determine how a union is run or administered”. While relying on the above decision, Counsel argued that the claimant has no right to interfere in the decision of its employees in choosing representation by a Trade Union. It was further argued that the claimant failed to argue their issue 2 and that a proper reading of EXHIBIT A shows clearly that the Defendants never threatened a strike action however in EXHIBIT A they merely demanded for the implementation of the agreement in EXHIBIT AUPCTRE 1. It is submitted that the claimant having failed produce the purported notice of alleged strike action before the Court, the claimant is not entitled to the reliefs claimed on that premise, therefore counsel urged the court to discountenance all submissions in paragraphs 3.7. Counsel urged the court to discountenance the submission of the claimant in issue 2 of written address as same has no foundation in law. ISSUE TWO; WHETHER THIS SUIT AS PRESENTLY CONSTITUTED IS AN ABUSE OF JUDICIAL PROCESS? According to counsel for the defendants this suit is merely a ploy by the Tribunal to renege on the agreement between it and the 1st Defendant as contained in EXHIBIT AUPCTRE 1 and the actions of the claimant are frivolous, vexatious, annoying, oppressive and a misuse of the process of court. To strengthen their argument, they relied on the case of UMARCO NIGERIA PLC V OFEELLY AGRO-FARMS& EQUIPMENT CO.LTD (2016) LPELR-41550(CA) PP.8-9, PARAS D-E where the court of Appeal relied on the position of the Supreme Court in AFRICAN REINSURANCE CORPORATION V JDP CONSTRUCTION (NIGERIA LIMITED) where abuse of court process was defined. Counsel urged the court to apply the decision of the Supreme Court in the above case to hold that the said suit is an abuse of court process. The counsel for the Defendants concluded his argument by stating that claimants have failed to establish the reliefs set out in their originating summons and therefore urged the court to discountenance the claimant’s submission and dismiss the suit with substantial cost for being unmeritorious, baseless, vexatious, and frivolous and abuse of judicial process. CLAIMANTS REPLY TO THE DEFENDANTS’ WRITTEN ADDRESS IN SUPPORT OF THEIR NOTICE OF PRELIMINARY OBJECTION The claimant’s reply dated 19th July, 2018 and filed 25th July, 2018 to the Defendants written address in support of their notice of preliminary objection. The counsel for the claimant replied as follows; ISSUE- WHETHER THIS SUIT AS PRESENTLY CONSTITUTED IS NOT INCOMPETENT AND ABUSE OF COURT PROCESS? In arguing the issue raised by the Defendants in their Notice of preliminary objection. The counsel for the claimant argued that the suit as constituted is competent and not an abuse of the civil process of the court. On this submission reliance was placed on the case of ABIA STATE UNIVERSITY V ANYAIBE (1996) 3 NWLR PART 439 P 662 PARAGRAPHS D-F the Court of Appeal, per Katsina-Alu JCA as he then was held wit;- “The general law or course is that any person natural or artificial may sue and be sued”. See FAWEHINMI V N.B.A (NO 2) (1989) 2 NWLR (PART 105)558. Generally, no action can be brought by or against any party other than a natural person or person unless such a party has been given by statute expressly or impliedly, or by the common law, either (a) legal person under the name by which it sues or is sued (b) a right to sue or be sued by that name. Counsel argued that the claimant is a creation of the provision of sections 247 and 282 of the Investment and Securities Act 2007. And the provisions of Order 2 Rules 8, 3 Rule 4 and rule 5 shows clearly that the claimant carries out a lot of functions and duties as the chief Registrar of the Tribunal. Counsel further argued that the claimant has all legal right and personality to initiate a suit against the Defendants. Further reliance was placed on the Court of Appeal decision in ABIA STATE UNIVERSITY V ANYAIBE (1996) 3 NWLR PART 439 P 662 PARAGRAPHS D-F the Court of Appeal, per Katsina-Alu JCA where the court held; “The law is however, now settled it is thus, that if the legislature has created a thing or body with functions and powers which can own property, which can employ servants and which can inflict injury the legislature must be taken to have impliedly given the power to make it suable in a court of law for injuries done by it authority and procurement.’’ Counsel contended that the above principle was earlier explained in detail in the case of CAREN NIG LTD VS UNIVERSITY OF JOS (1994) 1 NWLR PART 323 P631 AT P656 PARAGRAPH F. It is the contention of counsel that the court will rely on the golden principles of legal personalities in the cases cited to dismiss the Defendants’ Notice of Preliminary Objection as lacking in merit, frivolous, vexatious, and malicious and amount to an abuse of the civil process of the court with substantial cost. DEFENDANTS REPLY ON POINTS OF LAW The Defendants in their reply on points of law have argued that the claimant argument at paragraph 2.3 to 2.5 of the written address that the claimant is a creation of statute by virtue of the provision of section 274 and 282 of the Investments and Securities Act 2007. Is not correct. Counsel argued that the claimant is not the body established under section 274 of the Act, it is argued that the claimant is recognized under section 282 of the Act and the section delimits the powers and duties of the claimant under the Act. They argued that neither sections conferred powers nor duties to sue in respect of the matters nominated in the originating summons as presently constituted. They argued that section 275(2) of the Act provides; “The chairman shall be the chief Executive and Accounting officer and shall be responsible for the overall control, supervision and administration of the Tribunal” And this section according to their argument makes the chairman responsible for the overall control, supervision, and administration of the Tribunal. They argued that the appointment of the claimant is discretional exercise of the Minister of finance. They reproduced and relied on the provisions of sections 282(1) and sections 282(2) of the Act and argued firmly that the powers of the claimant as set out are with respect to the proceedings before the Tribunal (procedure) Rules, 2014. They argued that the Act did not vest powers of juristic personality to sue in the manner in the present suit as constituted. They argued that the claimant is not the chief Executive of the Tribunal. They argued that in determining the power to sue in this case the provision of section 275 must be read side by side with the provision of section 282 of the Act. Which makes it clear in their opinion that the Act did not confer the legal capacity enabling the claimant to maintain the suit as presently constituted? They argued that the claimant’s reliance on Order 2 Rule 8, Order 3 Rule 4 and Order 4 Rule 5 of the Investment and Securities Tribunal (Procedure) Rules is misplaced and the said orders deal with the claimant duties in respect of filing of court processes before the Tribunal and have nothing to do with the powers of the claimant to maintain this action. They finally argued that in the principle relied on in ABIA STATE UNIVERSITY V ANYAIBE (1996) 3 NWLR PART 439 P 662 PARAGRAPHS D-F the Court of Appeal, by the claimant does not apply here in this suit as presently constituted. They argued the present case relates to an officer who is not conferred with power that it attempt to exercise in the face of an existing authority/office that is conferred with the powers. They concluded by urging the court to discountenance the argument of the claimant and hold that the above case does not apply in the present suit. They urged the court to hold and grant the reliefs of the Defendants/ Applicants in the interest of justice. COURT’S DECISION: I have carefully and painstakingly perused all the processes filed in this suit and listened to submissions of counsel for both parties in adumbration. Before delving into main issues for determination in the Originating Summons and the notice of preliminary objection, I would like to make some remarks regarding alleged introduction of new evidence in the written submissions of counsel for the claimant. The counsel for the defendants has argued in paragraphs 4.17-4.18 of the written address of 17/1/18 that the facts set out in paragraphs 3.8 to 3.14 of the written address filed along with the originating summons are not borne by the affidavit in support of the originating summons. Counsel urged the court to discountenance those facts as they are not borne by the affidavit evidence before the court. I have assiduously studied the affidavit in support of the originating summons and the written address filed along with it, but I am unable to discover that the arguments advanced by the counsel for the claimant in paragraphs 3.8 to 3.14 were based on new facts or evidence not borne by the affidavit in support. Rather, I was able to discover that paragraphs 3 (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vii), 4(a), (b), (c), (d) (e) (f) of the affidavit in support were evidence that tallies with the submission of counsel as contained in paragraphs 3.8 to 3.14 of the written address of the claimant in support of the position canvassed before the court. In the circumstance there is no merit in the argument of counsel for the defendants in that regard. Therefore I hereby discountenanced the submission. Upon being served with the originating summons the defendants on 25/6/18 filed a conditional appearance and followed it with notice of preliminary objection filed on 3/7/18, wherein the juristic personality of the claimant was put to question. The notice of preliminary objection was accompanied by a written address. The counsel for the defendant in both the written and oral submissions before the court maintained that the claimant is not a juristic person and cannot sue or be sued. The claimant on 26/7/18 filed a reply to the notice of preliminary objection wherein it was argued that that the claimant is a creation of statute by virtue of the provisions of section 247 and 282 of the investment and Securities Act 2007. Counsel argued that in modern doctrine of legal personality if legislature created in its own wisdom a body or person and with powers to act within the statute that body or person can sue and be sued. Counsel urged the court to discountenance the defendants submission and hold that the claimant has juristic personality can sue and be sued. The general position of the law, of course, is that only natural persons, in other words, human being and artificial or juristic persons (bodies corporate) are seized with competence and capacity to sue and be sued in court. There can be no difficulty in determining and recognising who a natural person is. The difficulty that has often arisen is as regards who is an artificial person that can sue and be sued. In chief AADERIBIGBE JEOBA V OSHO OWONIFARI (1974) 10 SC 157 AT 163-165; the Supreme Court has defined a person as any being whom the law reward as capable of rights and duties. There are two kind of persons distinguishable as natural and legal. A natural person is a human being while legal or juristic person is a person in legal contemplation such as a joint stock company or municipal corporation; in jurisprudence, the term legal person as opposed to a natural person, is a term of art. The term applies to corporation such as limited liability, Municipal Corporation; it may also apply to churches, hospitals, or universities if they are incorporated or registered as such. See FAWEHINMI V NBA (NO.2) (1989) 2 NWLR (PT.105) 558. From case law, it is the law that legal personality of a non-natural person like in the case at hand, to sue or be sued can be express or implied from the statute creating it and can even be implied from the functions assigned to it by a statute. See THOMAS V LOCAL GOVT. SERVICE BOARD (1965) 1 ALL NLR 168; FAWEHINMI NBA (NO.2) (supra); MR. SOLOMON OBOBA V CHIEF REGISTRA, HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE DELTA STATE & ORS. (2011) LPELR-8783(CA). The investment and Securities Tribunal was established by the provision of section 284 of the Investment and Securities Act. The tribunal is comprised of Ten members and Chairman to be appointed by the Minister of Finance. The Chairman is the chief administrator and accounting officer of the tribunal. The Chairman apart from the judicial functions assigned to him is to be in charge of the administration of the Tribunal. A part from the members of the Tribunal, there is to be appointed by the Minister the Chief Registrar of the Tribunal who is to perform functions and duties assigned to him by the rules and the chairman. The chief Registrar has enormous duties and responsibilities to perform by virtue of his appointment as Chief Registrar. It is clear that the office of the Chief Registrar was established by statute. From the functions of the Chief Registrar it will be correct to say that by implication the office of Chief Registrar is imbued with juridical personality that enable the holder of the office to sue or be sued eo nomine. A careful perusal of the Investment and Securities Act will show that it will be reasonable to imply that the office will exercise right of legal persons, and will, if the nature of duty discharged so involved, be suable in court I’e possess juristic personality. See FAWEHINMI V NBA No.2 (supra). From the provision of the Investment and Securities Act, the Chief Registrar is an agent of the tribunal so he can sue on behalf of the tribunal. In view of my finding above I have no choice but to refuse the preliminary objection for lacking in merit. The claimant is in law a juristic person, and can sue and be sued on behalf of the Tribunal. Coming to the substantive suit, it is clear from the Originating Summons that the claimant is seeking for resolution of two issues. The reason being that issues one and two are in the alternative and in actual sense they are one. Therefore the contention of counsel for the defendants that the claimant has abandoned issue two has no basis. In arguing issue one Learned Silk representing the claimant has forcefully argued that a combine reading of sections 282, 283 and 284 of the Investment and Securities Act 2007 shows clearly that the Tribunal and its members of staff performs judicial functions. The Tribunal and its staff carries out function of the court of law. Based on the function and duties of the members of staff of the Tribunal the appropriate union to represent the interest of the staff of the Tribunal should be the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria and not Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employee (Investment & Securities Tribunal Branch). Counsel relied on the provisions of Third Schedule Part B item 2 of the Trade Unions Act which provided the jurisdictional scope of each of the restructured Trade Unions including the 1st defendant. In concluding argument counsel urged the court to declare as wrongful, illegal, null and void the activities of the 2nd and 3rd defendants parading themselves as chairman and secretary of Investment & Securities Tribunal Branch of 1st defendant. In response to the submission of counsel for the claimant the counsel for the defendants submitted that it is the prerogative of the workers/staff (employees) of investment and Securities Tribunal to determine or choose the trade union to belong to and not the investment and Securities Tribunal (employer) to determine or choose a trade union for the employees. It is submitted that the 1st defendant is a duly registered trade union and recognised in investment and Securities Tribunal. Furthermore, by section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, (as amended), workers are entitled to belong to trade union of their choice for protection of their rights. It is also argued that it does not lie in the claimant or the investment and Securities Tribunal to determine or elect the trade union its workers will belong. Membership of trade union is prerogative of workers and not employers. On this submission counsel relied on the case of NESTOIL V NUPENG (2012) 29 NLLR (pt.82) 156. The claimant cannot elect, appoint or cajole staff union of workers of investment and Securities Tribunal have subscribed to be members of the 1st defendant. Thus, the claimant does not have the right and powers to interfere with the decision of the workers. The central focus of question one is on appropriate union to unionise members of staff of the Tribunal. I subscribe to the view of the counsel for the defendants that workers or employees have unfettered right to belong to a trade union and their employer has no right to choose for them the union to belong to. This is in accord with the provisions of the law. The right to belong to a trade union is a fundamental recognized under the provisions of section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). This provision is the pillar on which trade unionism, in law and practice rest. Section 40, provides:- ‘‘Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons and in particular he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interest.’’ The above constitutional provision has clearly in no mistakable terms granted workers the right to associate. The right is not restricted to a particular class or group of workers. The right is granted to workers in both public and private sector. See INEC & ORS. V MUSA & ORS. (2003) 3 NWLR (PT.938) 86 However, it is pertinent to note that the right to freely associate and belong to a trade union is not an absolute one. like other rights in chapter 4 of the constitution it is a qualified right which can be derogated from in accordance with the provision of section 45 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended). The international Labour Convention No. 87 which comes into force in July 1950, which is one of the International Labour Organization’s conventions Nigeria ratified also grants both workers and employers right to establish to join organization of their own choice without previous authorization. The combined effect of section 40 of the constitution and ILO convention 87 is that the concept of trade unions and its practice is a universal phenomenon. It is an essential ingredient of states craft. See NASU V AKWA IBOM STATE UNIVERSITY & ANOR. (2014) 46 NLLR PART 150 PAGE 545 It is apt at this point to refer to section 12(4) of Trade Unions Act, which provides that membership of trade union by employee shall be voluntary and no employee shall therefore be forced to join any trade union or be victimized for refusing to join or remain a member. It is beyond any debate that the right of workers or employees to form or join or belong to a trade union is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This right of workers to join a trade union is guaranteed by section 40 of the constitution and section 12(4) of Trade Unions made it a voluntary venture to be exercised without let or hindrance or coercion. An employee or workers’ freedom to associate certainly include freedom to disassociate or not to associate at all. The employee could therefore opt out of a trade union if they so wish. See section 5(3) of Labour Act that allows opting out. Though there is unfettered right for employees or workers to form or join union of their own choice that freedom as pointed out earlier in this judgment is not an absolute right, it is a restrictive one. Section 8 of Trade Unions Act Provides:- ‘‘The qualification for membership of a trade union which shall include the provision to the effect that a person shall not be eligible for membership unless he is or has been normally engaged in the trade, or industry which the union represents.’’ The provisions of section 8 of the Trade Union Act, in plain and unambiguous terms has made it mandatory that for an employer or worker to belong or join a trade union the worker or employer must be normally engaged in the trade and industry in which they are engaged. This has made it clear that belonging to a trade union must be based on industry and not on mere choice of an employee or workers. In FOOD, BEVERAGE AND TOBACCO SENIOR STAFF ASSOCIATION V ROYAL SALT LIMITED, KIRIKIRI LIGHTER TERMINAL APAPA (2009) 16 NLLR PART 43 PAGE 92, this court has this to say: ‘‘unionization in Nigeria is industry based. Thus, Food, Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association cannot unionise workers who are not in he food industry. Salt is a chemical substance from a manufacturing industry. The appropriate union to unionise workers in salt manufacturing company is National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, leather and Non-Metallic workers (Chemical Unit).’’ It is apparent from the above decision that no union could move into an organization and start unionizing the workers without first ascertaining the trade group to which such workers or employees belong. If that were so, it would have been a negation of the provisions of section 8 of Trade Unions Act and restructuring exercise which took place in 1978. The membership of trade union is regulated by statute. It is beyond dispute that the 1st defendant is a registered trade union listed as No. 2 in both Part A and B of Third Schedule to Trade Unions Act. The jurisdictional scope of 1st defendant a creation of statute as contained in Part B item 2 of Third Schedule to Trade Unions Act, provides:- ‘‘All junior staff employed in the federal and state corporation; civil service employees classified as technical workers of sports commissions and stadia; public recreation clubs by whatever name called; swimming pools, amusement centres including carnivals, zoological gardens and services similarly classified, excluding Radio, Television, Nitel, Nipost, Railways, Nigeria Airways and other corporation workers already unionised.’’ A careful perusal of the jurisdictional scope of the 1st defendant will clearly show that the members of staff of the Tribunal who perform judicial functions cannot fit into the jurisdictional scope of the 1st defendant. The 1st defendant therefore is not appropriate union to unionise the members of staff of the Tribunal. To do so will offend the provisions of section 8 of the Trade Unions Act that require unionisation to be on industry based. See UDOH V O. H. M. B. (1990) 4 NWLR (Pt.142 52 @ 68, CAC V AUPTRE (2004) 1 NLLR (PT1) 1. In view of regulation of membership of trade Unions by statute in particular section 8 and Third Schedule Part B of Trade Union Acts, it is my view that the members of staff of the Tribunal ought not have joined or unionized under the 1st defendant. The reason being that the jurisdictional scope of the 1st defendant is not within the industry in which the members of staff of the Tribunal operate. The Tribunal being established to adjudicate cannot be said to be within the purview of the jurisdictional scope of 1st defendant. In the circumstance the 2nd and 3rd defendants cannot serve as chairman and secretary of the 1st defendant as the 1st defendant is not the appropriate trade union to unionize members of staff of the Tribunal. Who performs judicial function. Issue one is resolved in favour of the claimant. On issue two the claimant relies heavily on exhibit A attached to the affidavit in support of originating summons in support of the argument that the defendants breached the provisions of section 18 of the Trade Union Act, regarding strike action. Counsel also argued that the grievances raised in exhibit A were never discussed or agreed at amicable settlement meeting between the parties. Furthermore, the issues raised are not within what the management of the claimant cannot grant without the approval of the supervising Ministry and/or the Accountant General of the Federation. The defendants on their part maintained that they did not serve any notice of strike as alleged and as such thy did not violate provisions of section 18 of Trade Dispute Act. It was argued that exhibit A is not notice of strike. I agree with the defendants that he who assert has the duty of proving his assertion the claimant having claimed that the defendants have threatened to go on strike are in law bound to adduce cogent and compelling evidence in proof of their assertion. The claimant relied on exhibit A. A careful perusal of exhibit A will disclose that it is a photocopy of original. In law for a document to be admissible and accorded evidential value it must be the original document produce for the inspection of the court. See section 86 of the Evidence Act 2011. There is nowhere in the affidavit evidence where reasons were given as to why the original of exhibit A was not produced for the inspection of the court. The claimant did not also offer any explanations as to why the original or certified copy of it could not be tendered in evidence. It is to be noted that this suit was commenced via originating summons and for any evidence adduced has to comply with evidence Act for its reception. It has long been settled that a claimant in an originating summons must adduced credible and reliable evidence to succeed. Exhibit A having not satisfied the requirement of the law is not admissible in this proceeding. Exhibit A therefore has no evidential value and I so hold and same is discountenanced. The result of this finding is that issue two is resolved in favour of the defendants. In view of the foregoing, it is hereby ordered that: 1. A declaration is hereby granted that the defendants are not the legal body to represent members of staff of the investment and securities tribunal since their function did not fall within the jurisdictional scope of the 1st defendant. 2. A declaration is hereby granted that the 1st defendant is not the legal Trade Union to represent members of staff of the Investment and Securities Tribunal. 3. The claimant shall not dictate, or interfere with the members of staff of the Investment and Securities Tribunal in choosing to join appropriate union that is within the jurisdictional scope of the industry to which they belong. Judgment entered accordingly. Sanusi Kado, Judge.