JUDGMENT: 1. On 18th day of April 2017, the claimants took out a general form of complaint against the defendants wherein they claim the reliefs stated below:- 1. A declaration that the claimants are bona fide staffs of Ajaokuta Local Government Council their various appointments having not been terminated in any way by the 1st defendant. 2. A declaration that the claimants as bona fide staff of the 1st defendants are entitled to their salaries and entitlements like other staff. 3. A declaration that the removal of the claimants names from the 1st defendant’s pay roll is illegal, unlawful, void and of no effect whatsoever. 4. An order directing the defendants to restore the names of the claimants to the pay-roll of the 1st defendant. 5. An order directing the defendants to the claimants’ salaries and entitlements from November 2014 to date. 6. The sum of N195,932,362.20K (One Hundred and Ninety-Five Million, Nine Hundred and Thirty Two Thousand, Three Hundred and Sixty Two Naira, Twenty Kobo) only being the salaries, entitlements and arrears owed the claimants from the time their names were removed from the pay-roll till date. 7. The sum of Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000.00) as general and special damages for unlawful and illegal removal if the names from the pay-roll. 8. The cost of this suit. 9. Any other relief the court may deem fit to make in the circumstance of this case. 2. The defendants chose not to defend this suit by not entering appearance and not filing of defence to the claimants claim. 3. The first claimant, Mallam Haruna Adamu testified on behalf of the claimants as CW1. After been sworn in CW1, adopted his witness statement on oath as his evidence in this court and tendered exhibits admitted as CW1A, CW1B, CW1C, CW1D and CW1E. 4. From the statement of facts and witness statement on oath the case of the claimants is to the effect that, the claimants were employed by the 1st defendant at various times and their employments were confirmed as shown by exhibit CW1B1-190. The claimants were all working in a peaceful and cordial environment with their salaries and entitlements being paid as and when due by the 1st defendant. However, the cordiality and harmony which hitherto existed between the claimants and the defendants was shattered when on the 21st day of November 2014, the names of the claimants were illegally removed from the pay-roll of the 1st defendant and payment of their salaries and entitlements stopped though they were still going to work every day. The claimants in their own way, made moves to ascertain the real motive behind the illegal and wrongful removal of their names from the roll, but all their efforts proved abortive. The claimants after waiting endlessly for the defendants to correct the anomaly caused their solicitors to write a letter to the 2nd defendant stating their grievance. However, the defendants treated their letter with levity and contempt and thus did not deem it appropriate to reply to the said letter. Thus, why this suit was instituted. 5. There was no cross-examination of CW1 as the defendant failed to show up or have legal represented at the trial despite being served with the court processes. 6. The Defendants were foreclosed due their persistent refusal to appear to defend this suit. Counsel for the claimants was then directed to file final written address. THE SUBMISSION OF THE CLAIMANTS. 7. The counsel for the claimants submitted sole issue for determination, to wit: ‘’Whether from the totality or evidence adduced at the trial, the claimants have proved their case based on balance of probabilities’’ 8. K. C. Wisdom, Esq; counsel for the claimants in oral adumbration before the court adopted the final written address as his argument in this matter, counsel urged the court to grants the reliefs being sought. 9. Counsel in arguing the sole issue for determination contended that it is trite law that in a civil matter such as this, the standard of proof is based on preponderance of evidence or balance of probability. To buttress this contention counsel relied on the case of ORJI V DORJI TEXTILES MILLS NIG. LTD 2009 LPELR-2766, where Mukhtar, JSC as he then was stated thus:- ‘’it is elementary law that civil matters are determined on preponderance of evidence, and balance of probability. See ELIAS V OMO-BARE 1982 SC 25; ODLAJA V HADDAD 1973 11 SC 357.’’ 10. Counsel further placed reliance in the case of EMEKA V CHUBA IKPEAZU & ORS. (2017) LPELR-41920 (SC), where Ogunbiyi, JSC as he then was stated thus: ‘’The law is trite and well established that declaratory actions in civil matters require proof on the balance of probabilities or on the preponderance of evidence. The court has established this principle formerly in the case of Onisaodu & Anr. V Elewuju & Anr. (2006) 13 NWLR (Pt.995) 517.’’ Counsel further relied on the case of INTERDRILL NIG. LTD & ANOR. V UBA PLC (2017) LPELR-40907 (SC). 11. Counsel also contended that the burden of proof is on the party who alleges the affirmative. In support of this contention counsel relied on the case of NWAVU & ORS. V OKOYE & ORS (2008) LPELR-2116 (SC), where Niki Tobi, JSC of blessed memory) has this to say: ‘’the burden of proof is on the party who alleges the affirmative. The burden of proof lies on the party who will fall in the case where no evidence is given. Although the burden of proof is generally on the plaintiff, it is not invariably so. There are instances in our adjectival law where the burden of proof shifts to the defendant. It depends on the state of the pleadings.’’ 12. Counsel also cited the case of SOKWO V KPONGBO & ORS (2008) LPELR-3096 (SC), where MUkhtar, JSC as he then was stated as follows:- ‘’A cardinal principle of law is that a plaintiff who asserts must prove his case with credible and unchallenged evidence. See section 135 of the Evidence Act. Cap. 112 of 1990 laws of the Federation of Nigeria; Elias v Disu (1962) 1 SCNLR 361, (1962) 1 ALL NLR 214; and Arase (1981) 5 SC 33. In civil cases a party who wishes to succeed in obtaining judgment in his favour must adduce such credible evidence, for such cases are decided on preponderance of evidence and balance of probability. See Elias V Omo-Bare (1982) 5 SC 25; and Woluchem v Gudi (1981) SC 291. It is after a plaintiff has proved his case in this manner that the burden of proof shifts.’’ 13. It is the submission of counsel that the evidence of CW1, after the refusal of the defendants has failed to join issues with the claimants has proved the claimants case. Counsel further submitted that exhibits CLA1-4, CLB1-190, CLC1-6 and CLD1-3, have proved the claimants case before the court. 14. Counsel also contended that a critical look at exhibits CLB1-190, will show that the claimants were and are still employees of the defendants, exhibit CLA1-4, shows number of persons 115 who were affected by the removal of names from the roll; exhibit CLC1-6, shows the grade levels, department, salaries and entitlements of the claimants and the amount of money owed them both individually and collectively, while exhibit CLD1-3 shows the claimants through their solicitors wrote to the defendants to address the anomaly before they resorted to this action. 15. Counsel contended that taking into account the evidence of the claimants before the court, the claimants have discharged the legal burden placed on them and counsel urged the court to so hold. 16. It is the contention of counsel that since the defendants have nothing placed on the other provable side of the scale, the burden of proof placed on the claimant is discharged on minimal proof. To buttress the point being made counsel relied on the case of LARMIE V DATA PROCESSING MAITENANCE & SERVICES LTD (2005) LPELR-1756 (SC), where Tobi, JSC, of blessed memory stated thus: ‘’The Court of Appeal was correct when it said at page 218 of the record; ‘’generally inn law, where the evidence is uncontradicted, the onus of proof is satisfied on a minimal proof since there is nothing on the other side of the scale’’. Yes, that is the position of the law. But minimal proof remains minimal and does not mean no proof. The failure on the part of a defendant to give evidence does not exonerate the plaintiff from proving his case though minimally, an expression that means ‘as little as possible or very little’’. 17. Counsel also placed reliance on the case of OGUNJUMO & ORS. V ADEMOLU & ORS. (1995) LPELR-2337 (SC), 23 where Iguh, JSC as he then was says:- ‘’It is indisputable that where a defendant took no part in a proceeding or offered no evidence in his defence, the evidence before the court goes one way and there would be nothing to put on the other side of the imaginary scale or balance as against the evidence for the plaintiffs. The onus of proof in such a case is therefore discharged on a minimal of proof. See Nwabuoku V Ottih (1961) 2 SCNLR 232; (1961) 1 AL NLR 487 at 490, Oguma V I. B. W. A. (1988) 1 NWLR (Pt.73) 658 at 682 and Balogun V UBA Ltd (1992) 6 NWLR (PT.247) 336 at 354’’. 18. It is the contention of counsel that on the strength of doctrine of minimal proof the claimants have successfully discharged the burden placed on them in proving their case. The claimants are entitled to judgment. 19. It is the contention of counsel that even though some of the reliefs are declaratory in nature that requires proof on strength of the case and not on admission or default, the claimant have discharge the burden of proof on strength of their case minimally and maximally since there is nothing on the other side of the scale with which to gauge the uncontroverted, un-contradicted and credible evidence both documentary and orally adduced by the claimants in support of their case. Counsel urged the court to hold and grant the claimants claims against the defendants. 20. In concluding his submission, counsel for the claimants contended that the claimants have established their case since the defendants did not join issues with the claimants on the substance of their claims. COURT’S DECISION. 21. I have carefully and painstakingly perused the amended general form of complaint and the processes accompanying it as well as the oral and written submission of counsel for the claimants. 22. It is pertinent to note at the onset that the defendants In this suit did not deemed it fit and necessary to put up a defence to the claimants claim. However, this does not mean that judgment must be given in favour of the claimants, as failure to file defence does not translate to automatic judgment for the claimants. The law still requires the claimants to meet up with minimal proof for them to be entitled to judgement. The rule, by the minimal evidential requirement, is that a claimant cannot assume that he is entitled to automatic judgment just because the other party did not adduce evidence before the trial court as held in Mr. Lawrence Azenabor v. Bayero University, Kano  25 NLLR (Pt. 70) 45 CA at 69 and Ogunyade v. Oshunkeye  4 NWLR (Pt. 1057) 218 SC at 247. See also this Court’s decision in Attorney General Osun State v. NLC & ors  34 NLLR (Pt. 99) 278 NIC. 23. The counsel for the claimants has made heavy whether on discharge of burden of proof based on the documentary evidence adduced and admitted in evidence by the court which admission was due to lack of objection to the admissibility of the documentary evidence. 24. The claimants vide this suit are praying the court for declaration that they are bona fide staff of the 1st defendant, declaration that the removal of their names from pay-roll of the 1st defendant which resulted in stoppage of payment of their salaries and other entitlement beginning from 20/11/2014 to date was illegal, null and void of no effect whatsoever. They are also seeking for payment of certain amount of money as salaries and other entitlements as from the 20/11/14. The reliefs being sought clearly revealed claims of special damages which requires strict proof. The onus of proving claims for special damages is pretty onerous. 7UP Bottling Company Plc v. Augustus  LPELR-20873(CA), for instance, held that a claim for gratuity, pension, housing fund, salary is a claim for special damages, which must be particularized and strictly proved. And by NNPC v. Clifco Nigeria Ltd  LPELR-2022(SC), what appears to be an admission cannot apply to a claim for special damages. Put in another way, a claim for special damages cannot succeed because it is admitted. Claim for special damages are never inferred from the nature of the act complained of. They do not follow in the ordinary course as is the case with general damages. They are exceptional and so must be claimed specially and proved strictly. The fact that it appears to be admitted does not relieve the party claiming it of the requirement of proof with compelling evidence. From these case law authorities, the fact that Defendants did not appear is not sufficient to be the proof of salaries and allowances. 25. The apex court has in the decision in the case of Gabriel Ativie v. Kabelmetal (Nig.) Ltd  LPELR-591(SC);  10 NWLR (Pt. 1095) 399;  5 - 6 SC (Pt. II) 47 that said that: A claim is circumscribed by the reliefs claimed. The duty of a Plaintiff therefore is to plead only such facts and materials as are necessary to sustain the reliefs and adduce evidence to prove same. He may, at the end of the day obtain all the reliefs claimed or less. He never gets more. Nor does he obtain reliefs not claimed. A court is therefore bound to grant only the reliefs claimed. It cannot grant reliefs not claimed. 26. Before proceeding to determine the merit of the claimants claim, it behoves on me to first and foremost consider the evidential value of exhibits CLA1-4 and CLC1-6. Exhibit CLA1-4, is titled list of Ajaokuta Local Government staff that were illegally removed from payment voucher. While exhibit CWCLC1-6, titled List of Ajaokuta Local Government Staff that was illegally removed from the payment voucher. This document is in form of a table with columns showing names, grade level, departments, monthly salaries. These exhibits were not addressed to anybody or person, they were also undated, unsigned and no author. They are faceless document. The two exhibits were neither signed nor dated. The position of the law is trite that an undated and unsigned document is nothing but a worthless piece of paper. It has no evidential value and cannot assist the Court in reaching the justice of a matter. See Garuba vs Kwara Investment Co. Limited & 2 ORS. (2005) 5 NWLR (Pt 917) 160, Gbadamosi & Anor. vs. Biala & Ors. (2014)LPELR 24389(CA) & Brewtech Nigeria Limited v. Akinnawo & Anor (2016) LPELR (CA). Although these exhibits were admitted at trial, nothing prevents the Court from discountenancing same at this stage of evaluation. See Brossette Manufacturing Nig. Ltd vs. Hemobola Ltd & Ors (2007) 5SC 84. I thus find exhibits CLA1-4 and CLC1-6, unreliable. I discountenance and expunge same from the record of the court as they were inadvertently admitted in evidence. 27. The two documents having been found by this court to have no source, are unknown and have no relationship with the claimants. It cannot be said from the document that information on it relates to the claimant in terms of their employment relationship with the defendant or some other employer. The law is not absolute that simply because a document has been admitted the court must make use of it. The court has a duty to ensure that document have eventual value before it act on it. See Ezomo v. New Nigeria Bank Plc & anor  LPELR-9852(CA);  14 NWLR (Pt. 1000) 624. His Lordship Rhodes-Vivour, JCA (as he then was) in Fasehun & ors v. AG, Federation  LPELR-5567(CA);  6 NWLR (Pt. 975) 141 and Her Ladyship Nimpar, JCA in Brewtech Nig. Ltd v. Akinnawo & anor  LPELR-40094(CA) held that an unsigned document is worthless and void. Void in law signifies a nullity. So, how can a document that is void, a nullity, be resuscitated by its admission due to absence of objection. It is just impossible. And for an undated document, except where parol evidence is adduced as to its date, it remains invalid and so has no evidential value. See Aremu v. Chukwu  LPELR-3862(CA). There is no parol evidence before the Court indicating the date of any of the undated documents in issue. The relieance on exhibits CLA1-4 and CLAc1-6, by the counsel for the claimants is based on misconception of law. Exhibit CLC1-6 is merely a spreadsheet showing the computation of the claimant’s entitlement. Unfortunately, the source of the two exhibits is not known. It would by Ezuruike v. 7UP Bottling Co. Plc  LPELR-44626(CA) qualify as documentary hearsay especially as the maker is unknown. On the whole, and for the reasons given, I hold that Exhibits CLA1-4 and CLC1-6 are inadmissible and so have no evidential value. They will be discountenanced for purposes of this judgment. 28. For exhibit CLD1-3, is a document written by the claimants’ solicitors demanding their reinstatement and payment of salaries and entitlement. This exhibit can only show that such demand or request has been made, but it cannot establish the truth of the content of the exhibit. This means exhibit CLD1-3 has no evidential value to establish the claim of the claimant. I therefore found that it is not capable of having evidential value. I so hold. This exhibit is equally discountenanced. 29. The counsel for the Claimant has urged this court to hold that the Claimants have established their case since there is no defence to counter the claim. A careful examination of the reliefs being sought will show that the reliefs being sought by the Claimants that they are declaratory in nature seeking declaration that the claimants are still employees of the Defendants since they were not suspended, queried or terminated or disengaged from service. For the Claimants to succeed in their claim, they must by evidence prove that they are employees of the Defendants. The claimants place heavy reliance on exhibit CLD1-190. A part from the documents in respect of ; JIMOH AHMED, HABSAT MUHAMMED and MOMH ABDULMEJEED, who have letters of the provisional appointments, all the other documents are either letters of confirmation or promotion. 30. In a claim for declaration that claimants are employees of the Defendants, the Claimants are duty bound to tender letters of their appoint and conditions of service. The apex Court has held that letter of appointment and conditions of service are bed rock of contract of employment. It is those documents that establish relationship of employer employees. They determined the extent of rights and obligations of the parties without which the court will be helpless in determining existence of contract of employment. See KATTO V CBN (1999) 5 SC (PT.II) 21, AMODU V AMODE (1990) 9-10 SC 61, OKOMU OIL PALM CO. LTD V ISERHIENRHIEN (2001) 3 SC 140. 31. The claimants in the case at hand are under an obligation to plead and establish their contract of employment and conditions governing the contract of employment. Though the claimants have in paragraph 6 of their amended statement of facts pleaded and place reliance on their letters of employment those letters pleaded were never produced before the court for inspection by the court. The law is well settled that where claimant in a suit allege tempering of his contract of service he must prove existence of such contract by tendering letter of appointment and conditions of service governing the relationship between the claimant and the defendant. Failure to do so as in this case is fatal to the claimants’ case. See RECTOR KWARA STATE POLYTECHNIC V ADEGILE (2006) ALL FWLR (Pt.431) 914. Exhibit CLD1-90, were letters of confirmation and promotion they are only evidence that the claimants were confirmed and promoted but cannot prove the actual employment. For the claimants to succeed in establishing their employment and they must go beyond tendering their letters of confirmation and promotion. They have the onus of tendering letters of employment and conditions of service governing their employment. see AJI V. CHAD BASIN DEV. AUTHORITY & ANOR. (2015) 3-4 SC (Pt.iii) 1. The law has placed onus of proving breach of contract of employment on claimants. The claimants in this case by failing to place before the court the terms of the contract of employment and proved in what manner the terms were breached by their employer have not discharged the burden of proof place placed on them by law. This is because the law never imposed on the defendant who was sued to establish the contract of service. See KATTO V CBN (supra), IWUCHKUWU V NWIZU (1994) 7 NWLR (Pt.357) 379, AMODU V AMUDE (1990) 9-10 SC 61. Since contract of service is bedrock upon which aggrieved employee must found his case, he succeed or fails upon the terms thereof. The reason being that in documented contract of service court will not look outside the conditions of service. See WESTERN NIGERIA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION V ABIMBOLA (1966) NSCC 172, UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS V OLANIYAN (1985) 1 SC (REPRINT) 199. 32. The claimants’ failure in this case to tender their letters of appointment despite pleading same and failure to tender or establish terms and conditions of service completely knocked off the substance of their case. The claimants’ case fails as they failed to establish essential ingredients to prove their case. See MORONHULA V KWARA STATE COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY (1990) NWLR (PT.145) 506; (1990) LPELR-1912(SC). 33. The claimants are also seeking for declaration that the removal of the claimants’ names from the 1st defendant pay-roll is illegal, unlawful, void and of no effect whatsoever and an order directing the defendants to restore the names of the claimants to the pay-roll of the 1st defendants. 34. The claimants having complained that their names were suddenly removed from pay-roll of the Defendants. Therefore, they have the onus of establishing that their names were actually removed from pay-roll and salaries stopped. Surprisingly, there is no such proof. I have searched the entire pleadings and the witness statement on oath of CL but could not lay my hand on such proof. The claimants seems to be relying on exhibits CLA1-4 and CLC1-6 to prove that their names were removed from pay-roll and salaries stopped. The said documents having been discountenanced there is nothing to establish the claim of removal of names and stoppage of salaries. The Claimants would have succeeded in proof of their claim by tendering their last pay slips and statement of account from their bankers showing their last pay or by tendering the pay-roll in which their names were removed. The claimants have failed to meet the requirement of proof by preponderance of evidence. The claimant failed in proof of this claim. It is hereby refused due to lack of proof. The law is well settled that he who asserts have the onus of proof. See section 135 of the Evidence Act. 35. The Claimants have also sought for payment of salaries and entitlements from November 2014 to date. They are seeking for payment of the sum of N195,932,362:20K (One Hundred and Ninety Five Million, Nine Hundred and Thirty Two Thousand, Three Hundred and Sixty Two Naira, Twenty Kobo) as salaries, entitlements and arrears owed the claimants from the time their names were removed from the pay-roll till date. They are also seeking for payment of N10,000,000.00 (Ten Million Naira) as general and special damages for unlawful and illegal removal of the names from the pay-roll. 36. As stated in the early part of this judgment claims for salaries, allowances and entitlement are claims for monetary sums, which means that they are claims for special damages. See 7UP Bottling Company Plc v. Augustus  LPELR-20873(CA), which held that the claims for gratuity, pension, housing fund and salary are all special damages and must be strictly proved; and that each of the said items must be proved to the satisfaction of the Court as the Court is not entitled to make its own estimate of same - it must be proved with credible evidence and without such proof no special damages can be awarded. NNPC v. Clifco Nigeria Ltd  LPELR-2022(SC) is quite forcefully in holding that a claim for special damages cannot succeed because it is admitted as special damages are never inferred from the nature of the act complained of. They do not follow in the ordinary course as is the case with general damages. They are exceptional and so must be claimed specially and proved strictly. That the fact that it appears to be admitted does not relieve the party claiming it of the requirement of proof with compelling evidence as special damages are exceptional in character and so there is no room for inference by the Court. It is unreasonable to consider a claim for special damages reasonable in the absence of proof. A claim for special damages succeeds on compelling evidence to justify it and not on the sums claimed appearing reasonable to the Court. See further Mr Ignatius Anyanwu & ors v. Mr Aloysius Uzowuaka & ors  LPELR-515(SC);  13 NWLR (Pt. 1159) 445 SC. 37. The claimams for salaries allowances entitlements being special damages must be particulized. The Claimants have not paricularised their claims on these aspects of their claims. The Claimants seems to be relying on their assertion to make this claims for special damages. But the law is that evidence without pleading goes to no issue. See The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited v. Kwameh Ambah  LPELR-3202(SC);  3 NWLR (Pt. 593) 1;  2 SC 129. In like manner, pleadings without evidence go to no issue. See Ifeta v. SPDC  LPELR-1436(SC);  8 NWLR (Pt. 983) 585. It follows thus that counsel’s submission, no matter how brilliant is no substitute for pleadings and evidence. See Okwejiminor v. Gbakeji & anor  LPELR-2537(SC), Lewis & Peat Ltd v. Akhimen  SC 157 at 160, Niger Construction v. Okugbeni  4 NWLR (Pt. 67) 787 at 792, Igwe v. AICS  8 NWLR (Pt. 363) 459 at 481, Salawu Yoye v. Olubode & ors  10 SC 209 at 215, Ajayi v. Total Nigeria Plc  LPELR-20898(SC) and Adam v. Shaibu & ors  LPELR-40179(CA). 38. The law has long been settled that it is not the duty of the Court to fix defective pleadings. As His Lordship Tur, JCA puts it in Chief James Onyewuke v. Modu Sule  LPELR-9084(CA), a trial Judge should not embark on a voyage seeking to repair the damage caused by counsel in failing to plead material facts necessary to obtain judgment in the temple of justice since Courts are not carpenter’s workshops where Judges toil to mend defects in pleadings. The claims for monetary sums by the claimant must, therefore, fail and so are hereby dismissed. In like manner, it is not the duty of the courts to fill gaps in pleadings. See Sunday Emeje v. National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development  LPELR-8986(CA), per Peter-OdiliI, JCA (as she then was). 39. It is clear to me that the Claimants in this suit failed due to the claimants’ failure to prove the relevant particulars needed to sustain their claims for the sums. In the instant case, the claimants filed to plead the relevant particulars need to sustain the monetary claims. And I so hold and the claims are hereby dismissed. 40. Relief (8) is a claim for N10 million general and special damages. By NNPC v. Clifco Nigeria Ltd  LPELR-2022(SC), relying on Anyaegbunam v. Osaka  5 NWLR (Pt. 294) 449 and Obayagbona v. Obazee  5 SC 247, the award of cost is entirely at the discretion of the court even though costs follow the event in litigation; and that it follows that a successful party is entitled to costs unless there are special reasons why he should be deprived of his entitlement. In making an award of costs the court must act judiciously and judicially. That is to say with correct and convincing reasons. The claimant made no effort to show to this Court how she arrived at the quantum of this sum. 41. On the whole, for the reasons already given, and for the avoidance of doubt, the decision of this Court is that the Claimants have failed to prove their claims by preponderance of evidence. The Claimants failure to tender letters of appointments which were pleaded and failure to establish terms and conditions governing their employment has worked against them and thereby deprived this court of the tools with which to determine the claims of the claimants. The claimant case is hereby dismissed for lack of proof. 42. Judgment is entered accordingly. I make no order as to cost. Sanusi Kado, Judge. REPRESENTATION: s. Y. Ibrahim, Esq; for the Claimants.