RULING. 1. This deals with two applications filed separately by the 1st and 2nd Defendants. 2. The first application was filed by the 1st Defendant. The application was dated 18/7/18 and filed on the 19/7/18. The application was brought pursuant to Order 17 Rules 1 and 2 of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (Civil Procedure) Rules 2017 and under the inherent jurisdiction of this Honourable Court. The application is paying for: 1. AN ORDER striking our this case for want of competence and lack of jurisdiction. 2. SUCH further order or orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance of this case. 3. The application is supported by a 7 paragraphs affidavit deposed to by Samuel Omotoso, a legal assistant in the firm of the counsel for the 1st Defendant. 4. K. C. Wisdom, Esq; counsel for the 1st Defendant, in oral adumbration informed the court that he is relying on all the depositions contained in the affidavit in support. Counsel also adopted the written address filed along with the motion on notice as his argument on the application. 5. In the written address counsel formulated three issues for determination. They are: i. Whether the failure to affix a seal to the Originating Complaint before its issuance inconformity with Order 6 Rule 3 of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (Civil Procedure) rules 2017 has rendered the defendant’s suit incompetent. ii. Whether the failure by the Claimants to commence the action over the proscription of the 1st Claimant within 3 months as stipulated by the Public Officers Protection Law has rendered by the aspect of the claim to be statute barren. iii. Whether in view of the fact that each of the claimants had a separate contract with the 2nd defendant at different times and on different salaries, a joint action is improper in the circumstances of this case. ARGUMENT: 6. In arguing issue one; counsel contended that the Claimants originally commenced this action on the 24th of October 2017 by means of an originating summons. On the order of this Honorable Court, the Claimants converted their originating summons to a complaint as ordered by the Court. Counsel make reference to both the Originating Summons and the Complaint filed by the Claimants to show that the Registrar of this Honourable Court did not affix a red adhesive seal to either process. It is contended by counsel that this action is incompetent and, affortiori: this Honourable Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the action. The law is settled that a court will have jurisdiction entertain an action where:- 1. It is properly constituted as regards numbers and qualifications of the members of the bench, an no member is disqualified for one reason or another; 2. The subject matter of the case is within its jurisdiction, and there is no feature in the case which prevents the court from exercising its jurisdiction; and 3. The case comes before the court initiate by due process of law, and upon fulfillment of any condition precedent to the exercise of jurisdiction. See MADUKOLU & ORS V. NKEMDILIM (1962) 2 NSCC 374 at 379 -380. 7. It is the contention of counsel that this action was not commenced by due process of law. As the originating process commencing this suit was not sealed in compliance with the Rules of this Court. Counsel also contended that an originating summons that is not sealed cannot be regarded as having been issued in line with the rules of Court. on this contention reliance was placed on the case of IGIRIGA V. BASSEY & ORS. (2013) LPELR 20346 (C.A). 8. It is the contention of counsel that this case was not commenced by due process of law because the originating complaint was not sealed. Since sealing of an originating process is a condition precedent to the assumption of jurisdiction by the court, this court cannot assume jurisdiction to entertain this case. On this contention counsel relied on the case of KIDA V. OGUNMOLA (2006) ALL FWLR (PT. 327) 402. 9. It is the contention of counsel that the operative word used in Order 6 Rule 3 of the NATINAL IUNDISTRAI; Court of Nigeria (Civil Procedure) Rules 2017 aforesaid is ‘shall’ which connotes obligation and/or mandatory compliance without any avenue for discretion. Counsel on this contention relied on NIWA VS G.C.I.T.F. (2008) 7 NWLR (PT.1085) @ . 10. Counsel also referred to the case of CHIEF J UGWU & ORS V. J ALAEKE ALAEBO & ORS (2016) LPELR-41510 (CA), and contended that failure to seal originating process means the process is not deemed to have been issued. 11. It is the contention of counsel that from the above judicial authorities, since the Originating Summons in this case has not been sealed as required under ORDER 6 Rule 3 of the Rules of this Court, it is incompetent and this court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain same. Counsel urged the court to so hold and resolved the issue in favour of the 1st Defendant and strike out the Claimants suit. 12. It is also the contention of counsel that rules of court are meant to be obeyed and they must be strictly complied with. To buttress his contention counsel relied on the cases of SOLANKE V. SOMEFUN (1974) 1 SC 141, IBODO Vs. ENAROFIA (1990) 5-7 SC 42: ANIA vs. OBABIOLORAN KOSI (1986) 2 LWLR (PT. 22) 16: OLUSESI V. OYELUSI (1986) 3 NWLR (pt. 31) 634; JOHN VS BLAKK (1988) 1 NWLR (PT.72)648: GOVERNMNET OF IMO STATE V. GREEC CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING ASSOCIATED LTD. (1985) 3 NWLR (PT.11)71, DAMBAM VS. LELE (2000) 11 NWLR (pt. 678)413; OFORKIRE & ANOR. VS. MADUIKE (2003) LPELR – 2269 (SC). 13. Counsel contended that the failure by the Claimant to comply with the rules of this Honourable Court is fatal to his case. 14. ISSUE 2; Whether the failure by the Claimant to commence the action over the proscription of the 1st Claimant within 3 months stipulated by the Public Officers Protection Law has rendered that aspect of the claim to be statute barred. 15. In arguing this issue counsel contended that a careful perusal of the Claimants’ action will reveal that the case is based on 2 distinct causes of action. The first cause is the purported proscription of the 1st Claimant from the Campus of the 2nd defendant which is evidenced by Exhibit “1”. The second cause is the one that arose from the termination of the Claimants’ respective appointment. The 2nd defendant is contending both in paragraph 1 of the Statement of Defence and this Motion on Notice that the leg of the claim of the Claimants relating to the proscription of the 1st Claimant ought to have been commenced within 3 months from the date of the said proscription. It is the contention of the 2nd defendant that having not commenced the action within 3months this from the date of the said proscription, that aspect of the Claimants action is incompetent. 16. It is the contention of counsel that the 2nd defendant is an agency of the Kogi State Government created by Section 3 (1) of the Kogi State University Law. The law is settled that agencies of the Federal and or State Government are Public Officers within the contemplation of Section 2 (a) of the Public Officers Protection Act and are entitled to the protection provided therein. See OFILI V. CSC (2008) 2 NWLR (PT. 1071) 238. 17. It is the contention of counsel that the 2nd defendant, being an agency of the Kogi State Government, is a public officer and fall within the contemplation of the Pubic Offices (Protection) Law Cap 135 Laws of Kwara State (as applicable to Kogi State). 18. Counsel argued that Section 2 (a) of the Public Officers (Protection) Law Cap 135 Laws of Kwara State (as applicable to Kogi State) applies to this case. 19. According to counsel a careful look at paragraph 81 of the Statement of fact will reveal that the plaintiffs are complaining about the proscription of the 1st Claimant by the 2nd defendant. The proscription from Exhibit “1” was done on the 19th of July 2017. I submit there that the right of action to challenge the proscription of the 1st Claimant accrued to her from the 19th of July 2017 when the 2nd defendant wrote to state that the 1st Claimant had been proscribed. In essence, it is our submission that in action challenging the validity of the proscription of a trade union, the cause of action will be deemed to have arisen from the date of the proscription. See YARE V. N.S.I.W.C (2006) 2 NWLR (PT. 965) 546 @ 553 PARAS G-H and 557 PARAS C; see also LAUTECH V OGUNBIYI (Supra). 20. Counsel contended that a careful look at the foot of the memo will reveal that it was written and signed by the Registrar of the University in execution of his authority as such. It is the law, that where any action is commenced against any person for any act done in the execution of any duty, law or authority, the action will not lie unless it is commenced within 3 months next after the action. Where it not so commenced, the court will lack the jurisdiction to entertain the action. On this contention counsel relied on the cases of FRIN V. GOLD (2007) 11 NWLR (PT.1044) 1 @ 17 -18 PARAS G-B; 23-24 PARAS E-A and 28 – 29 PARAS A – D. Similarly in the case of NAOGUGU V. PRESIDENT FRN (2007) 6 NWLR (PT.1030) 237 @ 266 PARAS D-G; IBRAHIM V. J.S.C. (1998) 14 NWLR (PT.584) 1 @ 46 PARAS D-H; KOLO V. AGF (2003) 10 NWLR (PT.829 602 @ 625 PARAS E-F. 21. Counsel contended that since the 2nd defendant was acting in the execution of their respective duties of on recognition or de-recognition of a Trade union, the Claimants ought to have filed their case within 3 months from the date of action, this court will have no jurisdiction to entertain the claim. Counsel urged the court to so hold. 22. ISSUES 3; Whether in view of the fact that each of the claimants had a separate contract with the 2nd defendant at different times and on different salaries, a joint action is improper in the circumstances of this case. 23. In arguing issue 3, counsel contended that the Statement of Facts filed by the Claimant in support of his complaint along with the documents sought to be relied upon by them to show that the Claimant each have a distinct and independent cases and will rely on different evidence to establish their respective cases. Each of the 113 Claimants was employed on a different date as can be seen from their respective letters of appointments. The cadre of each of the Claimant was different from the other claimants. Their years of service are different. Their entitlement based on their basic salaries is different. I submit therefore that in a case such as this, Joinder of parties and causes of action should not be allowed. The case filed should be struck out to enable the parties filed separate cases. See HYSON (NIGERIA) LIMITED V. AUGUSTINA IJEOMA & ORS. (2008) 11 NWLR (PT. 1097) 1; CCB (NIG) LTD V. ROSE (1998) 4 NWLR (PT.544) 37. Counsel also adopts the submission of the 1st defendant on this issue and urge your Lordship to hold that there is improper joinder of parties and causes of action in this case and strike out the case. 24. In concluding his submission, counsel contended that the originating complaint in this case is incurably defective for failure to comply with Order 6 Rule 3 of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2017. Further, it is our submission that this action is statute bared and ought to be struck out in addition to the fact that there is improper joinder of partied and causes of action. On the whole, counsel urged the court to resolve the 3 issues formulated in favour of the 1st Defendant and strike out the action. May it please my Lord. 25. The second application was filed by the 2nd Defendant. The application was brought pursuant to Order 17 rule 1 (5, 6, 9) of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2017. The application is praying for:- I. An Order striking out this action for being incompetent. II. Such further or other orders as this Honorable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case. 26. The grounds for this application are as follows: I. The cause giving rise to this action is termination of appointment of the claimants. II. By the provision of Public Officers Protection Act, action against public officers must be filed within 3 months after the occurrence of the event giving rise to the action. III. The claim of the claimants’ is such that is personal to them individually which requires separate and distinct suit respectively. IV. The 39th – 113th claimant have no claim whatsoever before this honorable court as nothing whatsoever was said about them nor are documents relating to their appointment and or termination annexed to the originating summons. V. Originating summons, not suitable for matters of this nature that carry with it highly disputed facts. VI. Misjoinder of cause of action; the proscription of ASUU WITHIN Kogi State University Ayingba Campus and Termination of claimants’ are two distinct cause of action. VII. The claimant right of cause of action have been acquiesced Ninety Five (95) of the supposed claimant haven taken their financial benefits (three (3) months salaries in lieu of notice) in line with the Termination of their appointment respectively on the 21st November 2017. 27. The application is supported by a 16 paragraphs affidavit. A written address was also filed along with the application. 28. G. O. Adih, Esq; counsel for the 2nd Defendant relied on all the paragraphs of the affidavit and adopted the written address as his argument. 29. In the written address four issues were formulated for determination. They are:- I. Whether this Honourable court has Jurisdiction to entertain the claimants’ action in view of the provisions of Public officer Protection Act Cap. p. 47 LFN 2010. II. Whether the claimant’s suit it competent in view of Misjoinder of parties (claimant’s) and or Cause of action. III. Whether the suit of the claimant’s is such that can be determination by originating summons.Whether the claimant’s haven collected three Months’ salary in lieu of notice has acquiesced their tight of cause of action. IV. Whether the claimant’s haven collected three Months’ salary in lieu of notice has acquiesced their tight of cause of action. ARGUMENT: 30. ISSUES ONE: Whether this Honourable court has Jurisdiction to entertain the claimants’ action in view of the provisions of Public officer protection Act Cap. p. 47 LFN 2010. 31. In arguing issue one counsel contended that the 2nd Defendant though not being a natural person is in the eyes of the law a Public Officer since in law person extend to artificial, public bodies and corporate and incorporated persons. On this contention reliance was placed on the case of C.B.N V. S.C.S.B.V. (No. 1) (2015) 11 NWLR Pt. 1469 p.130 @ 135. 32. Counsel contended that it is elementary that action against a public officer must be filed within three months next after the occurrence of the alleged act. Thus, where an issue of limitation of time to institute an action is raised. It is a preliminary issue touching on the competence of not only the action, but of the court before which the action pending. To support this proposition counsel referred to the case of Alhaji Jibrin Bala Hassan V. Dr. Muaza Babagida Aliyu & 20rs, 20rs. (2010) lpelr-1357(SC). 33. Counsel contended that in order to determine the period of limitation consideration must be given to the originating summons and the reliefs alleging when the wrong was committed and by comparing that date with the date on which the originating summons was filed. On this reliance was placed on the case of Min., F.C.T. V. M.H (Nig) Ltd (2011) 9 NWLR PT 1252 P. 272 @ 276-277 34. It is the contention of counsel that by exhibit KSU 97 attached to the originating summons, the activities of the ASUU Kogi State University Chapter was instituted before this Honourable court on the 24th October 2017, outside the three months provided by the Public Officer Protection Act Cap P47 LFN 2010, thus the action of the claimants is statute barred. The law is well settled that a defense found on a statute of Limitation like the public officers Protection Act, is a defense that the plaintiff has no right of action. It is a defense which can be traced in limine and without any evidence in support, it is sufficient if prima facie the date of taking the cause of action outside the prescribed period is disclosed in the writ of summons and statement of claim (in the instant case, the originating summons) the trial court has a duty to confine itself to the pleadings filed by the parties. To support this contention counsel cited and relied on the case of Alhaji Jibrin Bala Hassan V. Dr. Muaza Babagida Aliyu & 20rs, 20rs. (2010) lpelr-1357(SC). 35. It is the contention of counsel that where any action, prosecution or other proceedings is commenced against any person for an act done in pursuance or execution or intended execution or any act or law or of any public duty or authority in respect of any alleged neglect or fault in the execution of any act, law, duty or authority, the action, prosecution or proceeding shall not lie or be instituted unless it is commenced within three months next after the act, neglect or default complained. On this contention counsel referred the court to the cases of Egbe V. Belgore (2004)8 NWLR Pt 875 p.336, Nepa V. Olagunju (2005) 3 NWLR Pt 913 P. 602, Ezeani V. Nigerian Railway Corporation (2015) 3 NWLR Pt 1445 p. 139 @145. 36. In concluding argument on this issue counsel urged the court to hold that the action of the claimant is statute barred. 37. Issue two: Whether the claimant’s suit it competent in view of Misjoinder of parties and or Cause of action. 38. Counsel started his argument with a quotation from the case of Hyson Nig. Ltd V. Ijeoma (2008) 11 NWLR Pt 1079 p.1 @ p.3 ratio 2, where the Court of Appeal stated as follows:- i. ‘’While several plaintiffs may claim a right relief under a common cause of action either jointly or severally and each one or more of such plaintiffs may be give judgment upon such relief as he or they may be entitled to without amendment, where the cause or cause of action are different, distinct and personal to each plaintiff against a common defendant, the joinder of such plaintiffs which tantamount to joinder of causes of action will be improper. In other words, the joinder of parties in a suit must be premised together all necessary parties who have the same rights or co-defendant respectively”. 39. Counsel contended that the joinder of parties in a suit is dictated by the need to have before the court such parties as would enable it to effectively and completely adjudicate upon and settle all questions in controversy in the suit. Thus the requirement for joinder of parties in one suit are the right to relief claimed must be commonly vested in a plaintiff jointly or severally or in the alternative. If the plaintiff had instituted separate actions, a common question of law of fact would arise in all such actions. 40. In the instant case, the respondents were employed separately and at different times, under different cadre, salary etc. and their claims against the appellant were based on cause of action personal and domestic with different supporting documents. In the circumstance, the two conditions for joinder of parties stated as stated above were not satisfied. 41. Counsel also contended that the claimants before this court were employed on terms independent of one another by the 1st defendant and there employment terminated distinctly and independent of one another as revealed by their respective letter of appointment and termination to the originating summons. 42. It is contended that the law required the claimant to file separate and distinct action as their claims are independent and does not fall within the provision of Order 13 Rule 1 of the rules of this honorable court. Similar rule has been considered in the case of C.C.B (Nig) V. Rose (1998) 4 NWLR (Pt.544) p.37 @ wherein the court held thus: “In the realm of master and servant relationship although Ten or One Hundred persons are given employment sane day under the same condition of service, the contract of employment is personal or domestic to each of the persons. In the event of breach, the persons do not have collective right to sue or be represented in a suit”. 43. In the case of Smurthwaite & Ors V. Hannay (1894) A.C. 494 where the house of lords held that “the several plaintiffs who claimed to have shopped cargo in a general ship under similar bills of lading could not join in one action because each of them had a distinct and separate cause of action”. 44. The above reasoning was adopted by Per Mukhtar J.C.A in the case of Hyson (Nigeria) Ltd. V. Ijeoma & Ors (2008) LPELR 5159, (2008) 11 NWLR (Pt.1097) p.1 @ p. 3 cited above. 45. Finally, on this issue, counsel contended that the suit of the claimants amount to misjoinder of cause of action and urged the court to so hold. 46. Issue three; Whether the suit of the claimant’s is such that can be determined by originating summons. 47. It is the contention of counsel that an action by originating summons is used when the facts of a case or matter is not like to be or in fact are not in dispute. It is used for non-contentious actions. It is not used in hostile proceedings. On this contention counsel relied on the cases of Amasike V. Reg. Gen., C.A.C (2010) 13 NWLR (Pt.1211) 337 @ 348, Director of SSS V. Agbakoba (1999) 3 NWLR (Pt.598) P.314, Fama Oli Ltd. V. A.G., Federation (2003) 18 NWLR Pt 852 p. 453. 48. Counsel contended that the content of the supporting affidavit to the originating summons which span through 97 paragraphs reveals serious disputed facts which makes Originating summons unsuitable thereby defeating the very essence of commencing an action vide originating summons. Conoil Plc V. I.T.F Gov. Council (2015) 9 NWLR Pt 1464 p. 399 @ 401. 49. It is argued by counsel that the issue of whether the termination of the employment of the claimants’ was done legitimately or otherwise is an issue that flares with facts which will necessarily requires each sides telling the facts as it related with the issue and in this instance highly contestable giving the facts that lots of allegation was made against the defendants in their supporting affidavit. What is more is that on the flip side, the claimants claim before the court also covers the narrow issue of proscription of activities of the 1st Defendant which they have so widely interpreted to mean outright proscription as contemplated under the Act. 50. Counsel urged the court to hold that this suit was wrongly commenced by originating summons. 51. Issue four: Whether the claimant’s haven collected three Months’ salary in lieu of notice has acquiesced their tight of cause of action. 52. In arguing this issue, counsel contended that the law is well settled that where a claimant (s) had received or being offered 3 month salary in lieu of notice; such claimant right acquiesced in the determination of his appointment and cannot thereafter be heard to challenge his termination because the collection of his entitlement has laid to rest any contract real or imagined between the parties. On this contention counsel relied on the cases of Chukwumah V. SPDC (Nigeria) Ltd. (1993) LPELR-864 (SC), Iloabachie V. Philips (2002) 14 NWLR (Pt.181) 264, Morohunfola V. Kwara State College of Technology(1986) 4 NWLR (Pt.38) 732@ 744. 53. It is the contention of counsel that by exhibit A attached to this application, it is evident that 95 out of three (3) month salary in lieu of notice this have no right of action. To support this contention counsel relied on the case of Mohammed M. Alhassan V. Ahmadu Bello University Zaria & Ors. (2009) LPLR-8138. 54. In concluding his argument counsel submitted that it will be in the interest of justice and fair hearing to grant this application and strike out this suit for being incompetent, vexatious and an abuse of court process. 55. In reaction to the preliminary objections of the 1st and 2nd Defendants, the Claimants filed an 8 Paragraph Joint Counter Affidavit deposed to by one Paul Ochayi. A written address in compliance with the rules of this court was also filed along with the counter-affidavit. In the written address four issues were formulated for determination. They are:- i. Whether the honorable Court has Jurisdiction to entertain the claimants’ action in view of the provisions of Public Officer Protection Act Cap P. 47 LFN 2010 ii. Whether the claimant can maintain this suit jointly as presently constituted. iii. Whether the suit of the claimants’ is such that can be determined by originating summons. iv. Whether the claimants’ haven collected three Months’ salary in lieu of notice has (s) acquiesced their right of cause of action. v. Whether this suit satisfy the provision of Order 6 Rule 3 of the Rules of this Honourable Court. ARGUMENT ON ISSUES 56. ISSUES ONE: Whether the honorable Court has Jurisdiction to entertain the claimants action in view of the provisions of Public Officer Protection Act Cap P. 47 LFN 2010. 57. The counsel for the Claimants referred to reliefs being sought by the Claimants from the Court and submitted that by reliefs “b” and “d” above, the Claimants sought an order setting aside the proscription of the 1st Claimant by the Defendant as same is done in violation of the Claimants right to freedom of Association. The Defendants case is that since the action that constitute the violation took place on the 19th July, 2017 while this matter was filled on the 24th October, 2017 (more than 3 month), this suit is statute barred as it related to relief “b” and “d”. 58. Counsel contended that it has now been settled that before the provisions of Section 2 of the Public Officer Protection Act Cap P. 47 LFN 2010 can be said to have shield any public officer from litigation, some condition must be established. Thus, to ensure a proper determination of whether or not an action is statute barred the general Principle is to consider the originating process vis-à-vis the limitation low. In this instance case, recourse must be given to the Claimants initiating processes and the provision of section 2 of the Public Officers protection Act. 59. It is the contention of counsel that general principles of law are always flexible and subject to either statutory or judicial exception. This principle was reiterated in the case of AREMO V. ADEKANYE (2004) 42 WRN SECTION 1, it was held that:-“Admittedly legal principle are not always limitation of action recognizes some exception”. 60. Counsel contended that the conditions for applicability of section 2 of the public officers protection Act was pronounced in the case of OJEDIRAN V. GOV. OYO STATE (2013) 47 WRN. Counsel contended that in the case at hand the trinity conditions were not satisfied in that the Defendants did not carry out act for which they were sued in pursuance of an Act, law or public duty. The acts complained of were not done in execution of any act or public duty. 61. It is the contention of counsel that the Claimants’ claim which involved the protection of their right to association cannot be barred by reason of statutory limitation so as to extinguish the claimants’ right to institute an action before this Court. In other words, the right of an applicant to file an application for the enforcement of fundamental right can be exercised, at any time, regardless of when the violation occurred. To support this view counsel referred to the Book written by Femi Falana, SAN on Fundamentals Rights Enforcement in Nigeria (second edition) at page 87. 62. In concluding argument on this issue counsel urged the court to discountenance the Defendants submission on this issue and to hold that the provision of Section 2 of the Public officer protection Act Cap P. 47 LFN 2010 is absolutely irrelevant to this case. 63. Issue two; Whether the claimants’ can maintain this suit jointly as presently constituted. 64. It is the contention of counsel for the Claimants that the applicant argument on his issue is misguided and a total misapplication of law. By Order 13 Rule 1 of the rules of this court persons who have common right to pursue in the originating process can be joined as a claimants to the suit. In other word to consider whether or not a Claimant is properly joined in a suit, the interest of such claimant to the relief sought is of principal importance. In the instant case the 2nd to the 113rd Claimants have approached this Honourable Court challenging the violation of the fundamental right to association and the subsequent termination of their employment on the 12th August, 2017 on the ground of restructuring of the 1st Defendant and fact would have arisen for your lordship determination. To this end counsel contended that the principle established in Hyson (Nig) Ltd, Vs Ijoma is absolutely in support of the Claimants case herein since the claim of the Claimants is one that is commonly vested. 65. On the second leg of this objection which suggests that the claim for the termination of the Claimants appointment and that of the prescription of their association cannot be maintain in one single action is totally misguided. From the facts placed before the court it is clear that it was the proscription of the 1st claimant that resulted in the termination of the claimant employment. 66. Counsel contended in the circumstance the determination of this issue will require consideration of the substance of this case and as such we submit that this issue cannot be addressed at the preliminary stage. Counsel urged the court to discountenance the Defendant argument as same is aimed at misleading this honorable Court on the proper application of the law. 67. Issue three: Whether the suit of the claimant’s is such that can be determined by originating summons. 68. It is the contention of counsel that with the exchanged pleadings these issues has become academic and should not be entertained by this court. 69. Issue four: Whether the claimant’s haven collected three Month’s salary in lieu of notice has acquiesced their right of cause of action. 70. In arguing this issue the Defendants have relied heavily on Exhibit “A” and other accompanying documents attached to the 2nd Defendant’s notice of motion. It is interesting to note that the said exhibit “A” was produce in bad faith when this matter is already pending before this court. 71. Counsel contended that document made during the pendency of a case lack evidential value and should not be relied on by the court. On this contention counsel relied on the case of OLOMO V APE (2013) LPELR-22327 (CA). “…. In the circumstance, this survey plain having been made after he commencement of this case is inadmissible law on the authorities of W.D.N. LIA V OYIBO (1992)5 NWLR (pt 239) 77….That by the provision of section 91 (3) of the evidence act, documents made during the pendency of an action for the purpose of the action and particularity pleading have been filed should not be admitted on the ground that they lack evidential value and would tantamount to stealing a march against the opponent.” 72. According to counsel there is no evidence before this Honourable Court to the effect that any of the Claimants have received any payment in lieu of notice as claimed by the Defendant. In fact it is the Claimants’ case that the Defendant is indebted to the 2nd to 113 Claimants salaries of over 2 years as arrears. 73. Counsel contended that it is the duty of the defendant who has alleged that he made payment in lieu of notice to prove by cogent and credible evidence and not with documents that lack evidential value. Counsel contended that the onus is placed on defendants herein law to proof that the plaintiff was paid salary in lieu of notice at the time termination of their employment. It is submitted that the defendant having failed to discharge this burden placed on him as EXHIBIT “A” lacks evidential value. 74. Issue four; Whether the claimants satisfy the provision of Order 6 Rule 3 of the Rules of this Honourable Court. 75. It is contended that the 1st Defendant herein has challenged the competence of this suit on the ground that the originating process was not sealed in accordance with the provision of Order 6 Rule 3 of the rules of this honorable court. It is submitted that the provision of Order 6 Rule 3 of the rules of this court is clear and as such the claimant cannot expound the meaning to accommodate extraneous fact. According to counsel a cautious perusal of the provisions one will reach a logical and clear conclusion that once the register seal an originating process same is deemed issued. The law has not specified the type of seal, whether iron seal, paper seal, red or yellow seal. What is important is that the originating process was sealed. It is further argued that a close look at page 4 of the complaint filed herein shows clearly that the originating process herein was sealed by one Ibrahim Abu Aminu a registrar of this Honourable Court. Counsel urged the court to discountenance the Defendant submission as it is unfounded and unmeritorious. 76. In concluding his argument counsel submitted that the Claimants case is competent and urged the court to resolve all the issues raised in favour of the Claimants and the Defendants’ motions dismissed with substantial cost. 77. The 2nd Defendant filed reply on points of law wherein counsel argued that the case relied by the claimants support the objection of the 2nd defendant. 78. It is also argued that the 2nd Defendant is a public officer and the acts complained were acts done in discharge of public duty or authority. Thus why 2nd Defendant was sued in official capacity. 79. On issue one; It is argued that this suit is not a fundamental human right action as suggested by the counsel for the claimants. Fundamental right enforcement procedure rules governed a class of action which are sui generies in nature this suit cannot be construed for any imagination to be a fundamental right action haven commenced under the NICN Rules 2017. 80. On issue two; counsel reiterated his earlier contention that the Claimants were employed separately and at different times, under different terms and conditions of service (some are on probation while others are confirmed).their respective claims backed by separate documents more so that the suit was not consolidated thus run foul against the condition and principle of joinder thus incompetent. 81. On issue four; it is argued that the argument of counsel for the Claimants on the issue of exhibit A being made during pendency of suit is misapplied to this case. Counsel submitted that for that principle to apply it must be shown that the interest was personal and not official. In the case at hand the maker of exhibit A is the Registrar of the 1st Defendant and it was in his official capacity representing the truth as it revolves around the happening between the parties during the pendency of the suit no personal interest whatsoever. UTC NIG. PLC V LAWAL (2014) 5 NWLR (Pt.1400) 221, referred to support this contention. 82. Counsel concluded by urging the Court to grant the application of the 2nd Defendant by dismissing the Claimants suit for being incompetent. COURT’S DECISION 83. I have carefully and painstakingly examined the preliminary objections filed by the 1st and 2nd Defendants and all the processes so far filed in this suit. I have equally perused the written addresses of counsel and listened to their oral submission in adumbration. 84. To my mind the two applications can be resolved on the following issues. They are:- I. Whether the Claimants action is caught by section 2(a) of the Public Officers Protection Act. II. Whether the claimants’ suit is caught by misjoinder parties and causes of action. III. Whether the claimants’ action is a nullity due to lack of sealing of originating process. 85. Before delving into the main issues for determination, it is necessary for me to comment on some of the issues that need no deep consideration. The first is the issue of whether this suit can be determined on originating Summons this issue has become otiose, moot and academic. The reason being that the Originating Summons which commenced this action has been converted to pleadings on the order of the Court and parties have all abided by it with filing of their respective pleadings before the Court. The issue is of no moment. It is hereby discountenanced for the purposes of this ruling. 86. The second issue is on the Defendants submissions that the Claimants haven collected three Months’ salary in lieu of notice have acquiesced their right of action. This is an issue that should form part of the defence of the Defendants which will require giving of evidence in proof. In the circumstances the issue can only be determined after full blown trial, it is not an issue that can be determined in limine. 87. Coming to the issues for resolution. I shall start with issue one; Whether the Claimants action is caught by section 2(a) of the Public Officers Protection Act. 88. The Defendants objection on section 2(a) of the Public Officers (Protection) Act, is hinged on the issue of proscription of the 1st Claimant which was with effect from 19/7/17. While this suit was instituted on 24/10/17, outside the three months provided for in the Public Officers (protection) Act. According to the defendants by filing of this action outside the statutory limitation the Claimants action is statute barred. As their right of action has been extinguished by their delay in filing this action within the time limited by law. The counsel for the Claimants on his part has argued that this suit is not statute barred. Counsel contended the reason being that the provision is subject to certain conditions. 89. Is to be noted that the purpose of Public Officers (protection) act is to protect officers in civil liability for any wrongdoing that occasion damages to any citizen, if the action is not instituted within three months, after the act, default or neglect complained of. See YABUGU V COMMISSIONER OF POLICE (1992) 4 SCNJ 116, (1992) 2 NWLR (PT.234) 152; (1992) LPELR-3505(SC). The law is said to be designed to protect only the officer who act in good faith and does not apply to acts done in abuse of office and without semblance of legal justification. See OFFOBOCHE V OGOJA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA & ANOR (2001) 16 NWL (Pt.739) 408; (2001) 7 SC (Pt.iii) 107. 90. For the provisions of the Public Officers (Protection) act to apply to deprive the Claimants of their right to litigate their grievance, the party seeking to take benefit of the protection must be able to show that act(s) being complained up were covered by the Act. For proper appreciation the provision of section 2(a) of the Public Officers (Protection) act is reproduced as follows:- i. ‘Where any action, prosecution, or other proceeding is commenced against any person for any act done in pursuance or execution or intended execution of any Act or Law or of any public duty or authority, or in respect of any alleged neglect or default in the execution of any such Act, Law, duty or authority, the following provisions shall have effect. ii. The action, prosecution or proceeding shall not lie or be instituted unless it is commenced within three months next after the act, neglect or default complained of, or in case of a continuance of damage or injury, within three months next after the ceasing thereof: 91. In FRED EGBE V ALHAJI ABUBAKAR ALHAJI & ORS. (1990) NWLR (Pt,128) 546; (1990) 3 Sc (Pt.i) 63; 1990) LPELR-1033(SC), the Supreme Court opined that where an act which had caused damage is done in the pursuance of any law or public duty, as an injured party can recover damages or other relief whether the act was done in good faith or not. 92. For the period of three Months limitation to apply as provided for by the provision of Public Officers (Protection) Act, it must be established that the acts being complained of, are acts of public officer done in the discharge of his function and the acts were in respect of are done in pursuance or execution or intended execution of any act or law or of any public duty or authority, or in respect of any alleged neglect or default in the execution of any such act, law, duty or authority. 93. The decision of the Supreme Court in the case of IBRAHIM V JSC KADUNA STATE (1998) 14 NWLR (Pt.584) 1, has established that the word ‘person’ used in section 2(a) of POPA, means natural or artificial persons as well as corporate and unincorporated bodies who are public officers. In view of this decision there is no disputing the fact that the 1st and 2nd Defendants are qualified to take advantage of the protection provided by section 2(a) of the Public Officers (Protection) Act. However, the prosecution or proceeding must be in respect of any act done in pursuance or execution or intended execution of any act or law or of any public duty or authority or in respect of any alleged neglect or default in the execution of any such act, law or duty or authority. 94. From the reliefs being sought by the Claimants there is doubt that the act being complained of touches on the legality of proscription of the 1st Claimant which the Claimants are contending is not within the purview of the Defendants in this suit. It is clear that the Defendants in this case are delving into issues that are not within their power. The Trade Unions Act which is the law establishing the 1st Claimant did not confer on the Defendants any power to proscribe a Trade Union, in the circumstance the acts being complained of are act that the Defendant does not have the power to dabble into. In the circumstances, I hereby hold that the Provisions of the Public Officers (Protection) Act does not protect act that was done in disregard of the law. See HASSAN V ALIYU (supra). Therefore, issue one is resolved in favour of the Claimants. 95. Issue two; Whether the claimants’ suit is caught by misjoinder parties and causes of action. 96. The 2nd Defendant adopted the submission of the 1st Defendant on this issue. They all insisted in their objections that the Claimants suit is affected by misjoinder of parties and causes of action. They urged the Court to dismissed the claim of the Claimants for misjoinder since they have distinct claims against the Defendant as they all were employed differently their cases are distinct from each other. The Claimants in their response contended that the objection of the Defendants is misguided and a total mis-application of law. 97. It is trite law that different and distinct causes of action may be included and tried in one suit. Also sometimes, two or more persons may be joined in one action as claimants or as defendants to prosecute their common or personal claims or to defend jointly or individually the claims against them. The same rationale for joinder for causes of action, namely, the prevention of multiplicity of actions and reduction of costs and time of trial, also accounts for joinder of parties. See AYONKAYA V OLUKOYA (1996) 2 SCNJ 292; ADEDIRAN V INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORT LTD (1991) 9 NWLR (Pt.214) 155. However, the court may on its own for convenience of trial order separate trials, where necessary. 98. In any case, persons and causes can only be joined to the extent permitted by the rules of court. Thus, Order 13 Rule 1 of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2017, provides:- 99. All persons may be joined in one action as Claimants in whom any right to relief is alleged to exist whether jointly or severally and judgment may be given for such Claimant(s) as may be found to be entitled to relief and for such relief as the Claimant may be entitled to without any amendment. 100. It is patently clear from the above quoted provisions of the Rules of this Court that the law has provided window to claimants in whom any right to relief is alleged to exist whether jointly or severally to join in a single suit to pursue their legitimate claims. 101. However, it must not be forgotten that a single cause of action is by itself a subject matter of a suit. It does not however, follow that for every cause of action a person has a separate and distinct suit must be brought. This is because Rules of Courts as we have seen above allows claimants to sue for joint or different causes of action in a suit. By means of this device, as noted above multiplicity of actions is avoided with the consequent reduction costs and duration of trials. Moreover, where the same witness may be required to testify in all or some of the causes of action, such a joinder is particularly convenient for the plaintiff. 102. The Defendants in the case at hand relied heavily on two Court of Appeal decision in canvassing their position before the Court. The two cases are: Hyson Nig. Ltd V. Ijeoma (2008) 11 NWLR (Pt.1097) 1, C.C.B (Nig) V. Rose (1998) 4 NWLR (Pt.544) 37. The decision of the Court of Appeal in the two cases relied on by the Defendants to press for dismissal or striking out of this suit for mis-joinder, were anchored on the English decision in the case of Smurthwaite & Ors V. Hannay (1894) A.C. 494 and the case of AMACHREE V AND 8 ORS. V NEWINGTON 14 WACA. The implications of the English case and that of WACA is that the Rule merely dealt with parties to any action and had no application to the joinder of several causes of action and that the causes of action of the several plaintiffs involved in the cases were separate and distinct and could not be joined in one action under Order 16 Rule 1 or Order 18 of the Supreme Court Rules (England). 103. It should be noted that the English Rule based on which the decision in SMURTHWAITE V HANNY (supra) was based, has been amended to enlarge the scope of the Rule to include joinder of causes of action. 104. However, a close study of the amendment which some High Courts Rules in Nigeria have adopted is not in pari materia with the Rules of this Court under consideration. 105. The Supreme Court in the case of CROSS RIVER STATE NEWSPAPERS CORPORATION V MR. J. L. ANI & 6 ORS (1995) 1 SCNJ 218, while considering the amended provision of Order 16 of the English Rules vis-à-vis the Oyo State High Court Rules which are in pari material with the English Rules stated that: ‘’A close study of the amended Order 16 Rule 1 of the Supreme Court Rules (England), as I have observed earlier on shows that the provisions are in pari materia with those of Order 8 Rule 1 of the High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules of Oyo State. The amended Rule is now Order 15 Rule 4 of the English Supreme Court Rules . In my view, it can safely be said that Order 8 Rule 1 of the High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules of Oyo State which was applicable at the time of the institution of this action on appeal and the amended Order 16 Rule 1 of the English Supreme Court Rules clearly permit Joinder of plaintiffs as well as joinder of causes of action but only in the circumstances and under conditions which I have already indicated. The position can be seen to be very much unlike what the Nigerian and the English rules of Court were at all material times upon which the decision in Smurthwaite v. Hannay, which was rightly followed in Amachree v. Newington was given.’’ 106. From the above quoted passage it is clear that in England and Oyo State as well as those States that have similar Rules, the scope of the Rule on joinder has been expanded to include both parties and causes of action. The law as at today in so far as it affect the Rules of Courts that are similar to amended English Rules is that joinder of parties and causes of action is allowed in so far as the two conditions of joinder as stipulated in the Rules are fulfilled. 107. For the Court Rules that are similar to the old English Rules, like the Rules of this Court, the ambit of scope of joinder is restrictive only allowed in respect of parties and not causes of action. See CROSS RIVER STATE NEWSPAPERS CORPORATION V MR. J. L. ANI & 6 ORS (1995) 1 SCNJ 218 AND AYANKOYA & ORS. V OLUKOYA & ORS. (1996) LPELR-669(SC). 108. Applying the principles of law enunciated in the decisions of the apex Court of the land and those of the Court of Appeal, discussed in this ruling, it will be right to say that the Claimants suit as it is presently constituted is bad for mis-joinder. And I so hold. 109. Issue three; Whether the claimants’ action is a nullity due to lack of sealing of originating process. 110. The complaint of the Defendants under this issue is that the Originating Summons commencing this suit was not sealed by the Registrar as required by the Rules of Court. Counsel for the Defendants cited Order 6 Rule 3 of the Rules of this Court as the Rules that provided for sealing of Originating Summons. However, a meticulous perusal of Order 6 of the Rules of this Court will revealed that the appropriate Rule of Court that makes provisions for sealing is Order 6 Rule 1(3) of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (Civil Procedure) Rules 2017. The Rule provide as follows:- 111. ORDER 6—FILING AND ISSUE OF ORIGINATING PROCESS 112. 1.—(1) …………………………………………………………………………… 113. (2) ……………………………………………………………………………. 114. (3) The Registrar shall seal every originating process which shall thereafter be deemed to be issued. 115. It is clear as the day light from the content of the above sub-rule of Order 6, that any Originating Process commencing suit shall be sealed by the Registrar, it is after sealing that the Originating Process shall be deemed issued. This means that sealing of originating Process is what gives life to the process without sealing the process will a dead document that has no life of its own. 116. I have carefully studied the Originating process commencing this suit i.e Originating Summons. It is obviously clear to me that the Originating Summons was not sealed by the Registrar, though signed by the counsel for the Claimants. The Originating Process Commencing an action will normally be taken to registry for sealing and filing, once sealed is deemed to be issued. The rules requires that originating summons must be sealed otherwise it is not properly before the court and should be struck out. CHAIRMAN LEDB V ADEWALE 7B ORS (1966) NMLR 27 117. Since the Originating Summons filed by the Claimant in commencement of this suit was not sealed by the Registrar of the Court as required by the Rules of Court, the Originating Summons commencing this suit is incompetent and liable to be struck out. I have equally perused the complaint filed on 2nd day of April 2019, pursuant to order of Court made on 19/3/19, the said process suffers same fate with the Originating Summons as it was not sealed by the Registrar. Though signed by Ibrahim Abu Aminu Registrar of this Court. The signing and sealing are two different things. Counsel for the Claimants seems to have equated signing of complaint by Ibrahim Abu Aminu as the same thing with sealing, this is not the true position sealing is different from signing. 118. It is trite law as decided by a plethora of case law that the validity of Originating Process in a proceeding like the originating summons or writ of summons is the sine qua non for the competence of the proceeding that follows it or that that is initiated by such process. See MADUKOLU V NKEMDLIN (1964) 3 NSCC 374; (1962) 2 SCNLR 341. Consequently failure to commence a suit with a valid originating process is a fundamental error. It goes to the root of the action since the condition precedent for the exercise of the court’s jurisdiction would not have been met to place the suit before the court for the exercise of the court’s jurisdiction to hear and determine the issues in the action. See KIDA V OGUNMOLA (2006) 13 NWLR (Pt.997), BRAITEWAITH V SKYE BANK PLC (2012) LPELR-15532, 5 NWLR (Pt.1346) 1. It cannot be overemphasized unless an action is commenced by due process of law, which include its commencement by or with a valid initiating originating process it is incompetent MADUKOLUS’S case supra. The process remains invalid ab initio it cannot commence the action. As court do not exercise jurisdiction in futility. 119. From all I have been saying, the Defendants objection to the competency of this suit on grounds of mis-joinder and absence sealing of the originating process as required by Order 6 Rule 1(3) of the Rules of this Court succeeds. The Claimants suit is therefore incompetently before the Court and same is hereby struck out for being defective, as this court does not have power to act on incompetent processes. 120. Ruling entered accordingly. Sanusi Kado, Judge.