JUDGMENT. 1. The Claimant commenced this action vide general form of complaint dated 15th July 2017 and filed before this Honourable Court on 19th July 2017, wherein he sought for the reliefs stated below:- 1. An Order of this Honourable Court directing the Defendant to Withdraw the issued letter of dismissal 2. An Order of this Honourable Court directing the Defendant to pay the Claimant three months Salaries from February 2017 to April 2017 to the tune of N3, 728, 156.25 as due and as regards the expiration of the contract employment letter dated 7th April 2016. 3. An Order of this Honourable Court directing the Defendant to pay the Claimant the sum of N800,000.00 for cost of Action. 2. The complaint was accompanied by statement of facts, witness statement on oath, list of witnesses, list of documents to be relied on and photo copies of document to be relied on at the trial. The defendant’s statement of defence was filed on 14/11/2017, and it was deemed properly filed and served vide order of this court made on 22/5/2018. The Claimant’s reply to the statement of defence dated 27/11/17 and filed on same day was also deemed properly filed and served. 3. The hearing of this case commenced on 22/5/2018 when the claimant testified in proof of his claim. He adopted his witness statements on oath dated 19th July 2017 and 27th November 2017, respectively, as his evidence in this suit. He also tendered 10 documents in evidence. The documents were admitted in evidence and accordingly marked as exhibit CW1A – exhibit CW1J. 4. The case of the claimant as can be gathered from the witness statements on oath and his oral testimony is to the effect that he was employed as Director Finance and Administration by the Defendant for a period of one year from 9/4/2015 to 8/4/2016. The Claimant’s employment was extended for another period of one year. The Claimant averred that the contract is for a fixed term of one year renewable for another one year upon satisfactory of performance of job functions or duties. The Claimant’s employment with the Defendant was terminated on 23/1/2017, vide the letter dated 7/4/2016, tendered in evidence as exhibit CW1C. The Defendant despite being given opportunity failed to cross-examine, CW1 on the evidence before the Court. 5. At the end of the claimant’s evidence in chief on 22/5/2018, the case was adjourned to 17/7/2018 for cross-examination at the instance of Oluwarotimi Ibitoye, Esq; counsel for the Defendant. On 18/11/2018, when this matter came up for cross-examination the defendant and his counsel were absent despite been served with hearing notice for the sitting of the court. Consequently, the defendant was foreclosed from cross-examining the claimant. The case was then adjourned to 3/2/2019 for defence. On 3/2/2019 when the case came up before the court Oluwarotimi Ibitoye, Esq; counsel for the defendant moved motion on notice to substitute new witnesses statement on oath with the one filed along with the statement of defence the application was granted and the case adjourned to 19/2/2019 for defence. On 8/4/2019 counsel for the defendant moved motion on notice dated 9/1/2019 filed on 11/1/2019, for setting aside order of foreclosure to allow the defendant cross-examined the claimant who testified as CW1. The application was granted and the case was adjourned to 22/5/2019. 6. On 24/10/2019 when this suit came up for cross-examination after the lifting of foreclosure the defendant and the counsel appearing for the defendant were absent and there was no communication to the court as to why they were not in court. The court after listening to the submission of counsel for the claimant foreclosed the defendant for the second time from cross-examining the claimant. The claimant was also ordered to file his final written address within 21 days in line with rules of this court. The adoption of final written address was fixed to come up on 15/1/2020. On 15/1/2020 counsel for the claimant moved motion on notice dated 18/2/2019 and filed on 20/12/2019, for extension of time to file final written address out of time. The application was granted. It is to be noted that both the motion on notice for extension of time to file written address out of time by the claimant as well as the hearing notice for sitting of the court on 15/1/2020 were all served on the counsel for the defendant. However, there was no response from the defendant. The Claimant and the counsel for the defendant, were absent in court. On 18/2/2020 the counsel for the claimant adopted his final written address dated 18/12/2019 and filed on 20/12/2019. Thereafter the case was adjourned to 6/5/2020 for judgment. THE SUBMISSION OF THE CLAIMANT 7. In the final written address adopted by C. N. Agomuo, Esq; counsel for the claimant, a sole issue for determination was formulated, to wit: ‘’Whether having duly established it (sic) case on a wrongful termination of contract of employment, the Claimant is entitled to the Claims before this Honourable Court.’’ 8. In arguing the sole issue for determination, counsel for the claimant submitted that it is trite that an action for wrongful termination of appointment as in the instant case, the onus lies on the Claimant to prove among others, the terms of the agreement allegedly breached and wherein the Claimant is required to place before the Court the Terms of the Contract of employment, and to prove in what manner the said terms were breached by the employer, this was laid down, in SHENA SECURITY CO. LTD V. AFROPAK (NIG) LTD AND 2 ORS (2008)18 NWLR (PT. 1118) 77 SC; N.R.W IND. LTD V. AKINGBULUGBE (2011) 11 NWLR (PT. 1257) 131 C.A. 9. According to counsel for the claimant, a Contract of employment means any agreement, whether oral or written, express or implied, whereby one person agrees to employ another as a worker and that person agrees to serve the employer as a worker. This is as defined by the Labour Act (Cap. 198) LFN, 1990. Section 91 of the said Act defines a Worker as any person who has entered into or work under a contract with an employer whether oral or written and whether it is a contract of service or a contract personally to execute any work or labour. 10. It is argued by counsel that in the instant case, the Claimant was issued a Contract employment letter dated 16th March 2015 by the defendant for a fixed term of one year; and prior to the expiration of the Contract of employment in April 2016, the Contract was further extended by the defendant and the Claimant was again issued with Employment contract extension letter dated 7th April 2016 for another fixed term of one year. These letters were tendered as evidence and marked as exhibits CW1A1-3 and CW1B. From the above letters, it is obvious the Claimant was an employee of the defendant. 11. It was further argued that the Claimant upon employment served as the Finance and Admin Director whose duties and responsibilities were contained in the Job Description under the Duties and Role of Finance and Administration Director for IMC (same tendered in evidence and marked as exhibit CW1F). The nature of the Claimant’s contract employment is for a fixed term of one year and renewable for another one year upon satisfactory performance of job functions or duties. The Claimant’s employment was governed by both his contract employment agreement letters and Policies and Procedure Manual 2015 (both tendered as evidence). 12. It is contended by counsel that in the instant case, it was obvious the Claimant’s job performance was satisfactory to the defendant which earned him a contract extension after expiration of the initial contract employment. 13. According to counsel, the Claimant having been diligent and dedicated to his duties and responsibilities as Finance and Admin Director and never in anyway fell short of his responsibilities to effectively carry out his duty as prescribed in the Job Description Manual, as evidenced in the Report published by Internal Audit of the defendant wherein all financial management system and internal control procedures championed by the Claimant were positively certified and cleared. Counsel refers to the audit report exhibit CW1F to support his contention; also, as stated in paragraph 16 of the Statement of Facts, prior to the wrongful disengagement of the Claimant, he received a pay increase on his monthly salary which corroborates his outstanding work performance. A merit increase in salary is the defendant’s way to compensate for outstanding work performance as provided in Section 12 of the International Field Employee Policy and Procedure Manual, 2015, marked as exhibit CW1G. 14. It is the contention of counsel that on 23rd January 2017, the Claimant was issued with a termination letter exhibit CW1C by the Country Director of the defendant without exercising the proper procedure for issuing such contract employment termination. In support of this submission counsel refers to case of MOMOH V. CBN (2007) 14 NWLR (PT. 1055) 504 C.A. where the Court of Appeal held that, “In construing the relationship between an employee and an employer under a contract, the court must confine itself to the plain words and meanings to be derived from the written contract. And in interpreting the provisions of such a written contract, no addition thereto or subtraction therefrom is permissible. The words used must be given effect to and no word should be ignored in the interpretation of the intention of the parties. Accordingly, the Court does not have the power to look elsewhere for the terms of contract with regard to the termination of contract other than in written agreement. In the instant case, in construing the terms of the relationship between the appellant and the respondent, the court was right to have confined itself to the plain words and meaning derived from the provisions contained in the respondent’s staff manual.” Also referred are the cases of CBN V. ARCHIBONG (2001) 10 NWLR (PT.721)492 (Pages 521 522, Par. G-E) and AFROTECH SERVICES (NIG.) LTD V. M.I.A & SONS LTD (2000) 15 NWLR (PT. 692)730 C.A 15. It is the contention of counsel that in the instant case, the Claimant’s employment is governed by both the Contract employment Agreement letters and the International Field Staff Policy Manual, 2015. To support this view counsel refers to Paragraph six (6) of the first contract employment letter and Paragraph five (5) of the later contract employment extension letter. 16. Also, referred to is Section 25.3 (page 166) of the International Field Staff Policy Manual, 2015 states that, “…it is advised that the Finance Administrative Director and local Human Resources Manager (where applicable) adopt the human resources procedures, which are used for international field staff, for national staff”; 17. Further, Section 18.2 (page 138) of the Policy Manual, states that, “…International Human Resources will keep track of performance evaluations for all international field staff and all local staff on key positions (Finance Admin Directors and Country Directors) and will include the supervisor and employee version of the appraisals in the respective employee personnel file for all international field staff as well as national finance administrative directors”. 18. It is the argument of counsel that the defendant failed to follow the proper procedure in termination of the Claimant’s employment as provided for by the Contract Employment letters and Section 18.3 of the International Field Staff Policy and Procedure Manual 2015, being the policy regulating both international and local field staff of the defendant at the time. 19. The Claimant stated in paragraph 14 of the Statement of Facts that the disciplinary procedure provided for in the above stated Policy and Procedure Manual was never employed by the Country Director of the defendant to check his performance. The Claimant wasn’t given any verbal or written warning by his Supervisor on any shortcoming as regards his work input neither was any disciplinary measures taken against him. 20. Also, against the policy of the defendant as provided in Section 18.3 (3)(c) of the International Field Staff Policy and Procedure Manual, 2015 the termination letter in the instant case never made reference to any previously issued warnings either verbal or written, neither did it reference any gross misconduct violation on the termination letter. The absence of the above mentioned features clearly shows that none of these warnings were issued on the Claimant and indeed the claimant did not commit any act(s) to cause his employment termination. 21. Again, the Policy provides in Section 18.3 (3)(f) that if the termination letter is to be issued on the employee in person, there should always be a witness from the defendant to giving the letter and the said witness must be designated by either the Country Director or a Regional Coordinator of the defendant. In the instant case, the only witness at the point of receipt of the wrongful termination letter on the Claimant by the Country Director of the defendant was the Claimant’s attorney. 22. It is the submission of counsel that in Paragraphs 8, 9, 10, 12 and 13 of the Statement of Facts that the reasons given for the wrongful termination of his contract of employment as contained in the termination letter and which relates to Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) were appropriately and duly responded to and as evidenced in the tendered email correspondences shared by the Claimant to the Compliance Department and International Human Resources of the defendant, same marked as EXHIBIT CW1E. 23. It is important to state that on the PIP, the Claimant was never shown his performance appraisal for the period of 2016 by his Supervisor (Country Director) nor did his supervisor at any point ever scheduled a meeting with him as regards his evaluation and assessment of strength and weakness nor did his supervisor ever set objectives for the period ahead as provided in Section 18.2 (9) of the Employment Contract and the International Field Staff Policy Manual, 2015. 24. Again, the termination was indeed unjust and wrongful as the Claimant’s position as Finance and Administration Director was supported by Dual Reporting structure in line with the policies of the Defendant (See Section 18.2 (Page 138) of the Policy Manual 2015) and there was no negative appraisal outcome or a concurring from the other supervisor (who is the defendant’s Regional Finance Director) to collaborate the claims of the Country Director on the reasons for the Claimant’s employment contract termination. 25. It is the contention of counsel that where a contract of service is for a fixed term, that is, where the term of service is pre-determined at the commencement of the contract (as in the instant case between the Claimant and the defendant); Notice may or may not be in the contemplation of the parties. The proposition here is that in such a contract the employee cannot be removed during the period of the term contracted except for misconduct or where the employer dies; See the case of IGBE V. GOVERNOR OF BENDEL STATE (1983) 2 S.C 14. In the instant case, the Claimant from the few evidence presented before this Honourable Court never committed any act of misconduct neither is the defendant dead. 26. Counsel referred to the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of SHENA SECURITY CO. LTD V. AFROPAK (NIG) LTD AND 2 ORS (2008) 18 NWLR (PT. 1118) 77 SC., (P.26. PAR. C-F) the learned Justice, Justice MUHAMMAD, JSC stated that, “Where the contract of an employee is determined before the expiration of the term agreed, the employer shall be made to pay the employee the full salary he would have earned for the unexpired period of his fixed contractual term”. See also the case of SWISS NIGERIA WOOD INDUSTRIES LTD V. BOGO (1970) NCLR 423 and the case of UMOH V. I.T.G.C (2001) 4 NWLR (PT.703) 281 C.A. where on measure of damages for wrongful termination, the Court held that, “In a claim for wrongful dismissal, the measure of damages is prima-facie, the amount the plaintiff would have earned had the employment continued according to contract.” 27. Counsel contented that in the instant case, the Claimant through his Contract of employment extension letter dated 7th April 2016 (the said contract was to run until 7th April 2017), was entitled to a consolidated gross monthly salary of One Million Two Hundred and Forty-Two Thousand, Seven Hundred and Eighteen naira and Seventy-Five Kobo (N1,242,718.75). 28. It is the contention of counsel that prior to the unjust and wrongful termination of the Claimant’s contract of employment on 23rd January 2017, the Claimant’s contract of employment was to be determined in April 2017, which meant that the Claimant had three months more before his contract will be determined as agreed. In view thereof, the Claimant is entitled to a cumulative sum of N3,728,156.25 being the consolidated gross monthly salary for the remaining three (3) months. 29. Counsel posited that the claimant’s evidence was unchallenged and un-contradicted, on this contention reliance was placed on the case of OGUNYADE V. OSHUNKEYE (2007) 15 NWLR (PT. 1057) 218 S.C., WHERE on Treatment of unchallenged and un-contradicted evidence, held that, “Unchallenged and un-contradicted evidence ought to be accepted by the court as establishing the facts therein contained. Thus, where evidence given by a party to a proceeding was not challenged by the opposite party who had the opportunity to do so, it is always open to the court seized of the proceeding to act on the unchallenged evidence before it.” 30. Also, in M.W.T. (NIG.) LTD V. P.T.F (2007) 15 NWLR (PT. 1055) 451 C.A, it was held that, “where a piece of evidence elicited by a party is neither challenged nor controverted, the court is bound to ascribe credibility to it except if it is inherently incredible or offends rational conclusion or state of physical things. In the case in view, the appellant had every opportunity to cross-examine the DW1 but failed to do so…” See also the cases of OWNERS, M/V.G.H V. S.C (NIG.) LTD (2007) 15 NWLR (PT.1056) 189 SC. and OMOREGE V. LAWANI (1980) 3-4 SC 108, where the Court held similar decision. 31. It is the contention of counsel that in the instant case between the Claimant and the defendant, the defendant never challenged nor controverted the evidence presented before this Honourable Court upon showing same to the defendant for verification on the day the evidence were presented in Court through Examination in Chief of the Claimant’s sole witness. (see the evidence marked as EXHIBITS in paragraph 1.2 above). 32. It is further argued that the defendant never presented any evidence before this Honourable Court neither did the defendant in any way adopted any evidence before this Court as their argument. It is the position of counsel that in the absence of any evidence called by the defendant and the defendant’s failure to adopt nothing as its evidence or argument in this case, and having not challenged nor controverted the evidence presented in court by the Claimant and as duly admitted into evidence by the Court, that this Honourable hold in the affirmative the submission of the Claimant. 33. To buttress his claim for cost counsel relied on the case of International Offshore Construction Ltd & 3 ORS. V. SHORELINE LIFTBOATS NIG. LTD (2003) 16 NWLR (PT. 845) P. 157, The award made as damages for engaging solicitor’s services was affirmed by the Court of Appeal on ground that unchallenged evidence was led in its proof. Also, in the Court of Appeal decision in NAUDE V. SIMON (2014) ALL FWLR (PT.753) C.A. The Court Per Akomolafe- Wilson JCA, states that, “…it is no more in doubt that damages for cost, which includes solicitor’s fees and out of pocket expenses, if reasonably incurred are usually paid by courts if pleaded and proved… In more recent times, it is common for solicitors to include their legal fee for prosecution of cases and pass same to the other party as part of claims for damages, which have been awarded by the courts once the claims are proved.” 34. It is the contention of counsel that in the instant case, the Claimant in Paragraph 18 of the Statement of Facts presented as evidence two letters respectively as issued from the Claimant’s Solicitor to the Claimant stating the sum of N800,000 as the cost of legal representation. The first of the letters is an acceptance to take up the wrongful termination brief. The said letter also presented to the Claimant cost for the entire legal representation being the total sum of N800, 000 (which is to be paid in two installments of N450, 000 and N350, 000). 35. The Second letter is an acknowledgment letter for the receipt of the initial part payment of the sum of N450, 000 being legal representation fee for the instant case. (Both letters were tendered as evidenced and same marked as exhibits CW1I and CW 1J respectively. 36. Counsel contended that with the above submission in the within paragraph 8, the Claimant hereby relies on the above case laws and the Solicitor’s letters to demand that the court directs the defendant to pay the Claimant the sum of N800,000 being the cost for this legal action. 37. In concluding his submission counsel urged the court to agree with the submissions canvassed, in the final written address and grant credence to the presented evidences and grant the Claimant’s Orders as prayed. COURT’S DECSION: 38. I have considered all the processes filed in this suit, the final written address of the claimant and the oral adumbration. 39. Before proceeding to determine the claim of the claimant, it behooves on me to first and foremost point out that the defendant despite being afforded ample opportunity to defend this action, decided to abandoned the defence put up by the defendant in this suit by the refusal to produce the shortlisted witness to appear before the court to testify. With the abandonment of the defence by the Defendant, the claimant has urged the court to grant all his reliefs as the claim is un-contradicted and uncontroverted by the defendant. However, this does not mean that judgment must be given in favour of the claimant, as failure to adopt witness statement on oath does not translate to automatic judgment for the claimant. The position of the law is that where the adversary fails to adduce evidence to put on the other side of the imaginary scale of justice, minimum evidence adduced by the other side would suffice to prove its case. See Newsbread Organization Ltd V Erhmosele (2006) 2 Sc (Pt.1) 36. The law still requires the claimant to meet up with minimal proof for him to be entitled to judgment. 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. 40. The counsel for the claimant 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. 41. The claimants vide this suit is praying the court for setting aside letter of termination, payment of 3 Months salary and solicitors fees. 42. By asking this court to set aside letter of termination of the claimant is assuming that his contract of employment is still subsisting and that he is entitled to remain in service of the defendant. It is the nature of the contract of employment that determines whether termination can be set aside or not. There are litany of decision where the apex court and the court of appeal have that there are three categories of contract of employment in Nigeria; namely; 1. Those regarded as purely master and servant 2. Those where a servant is said to hold office at the pleasure of the employer 3. Those where the employment is regulated or governed by statute, often referred to as having statutory flavor. See Olaniyan V University of Lagos (1985) 2 NWLR (Pt.9) 599; Olarenwaju V Afribank (Nig) Plc (2001) 13 NWLR (Pt.731) 691 @ 705; CBN V Iguilo (2012) 1 NILR 1 @ 20. 43. The claimant in this suit has not claimed that his contract of service is one protected by statute. The law is well settled that where a contract of service is not protected by statute but by agreement of parties it is a contract of Master and Servant or that of employer and employee governed by the agreement as contained in the letter of employment and condition of service. The relationship between an employer and his employee is generally to be found in the service agreement or letter of employment. See international Drilling Co. Nig. (Ltd) V Ajijola (1979) 1 All NLR 117 @ 130. 44. The service agreement or letter of employment is one of the most vital documents the court construe in determining the rights and obligations of the parties under the contract of service. See Anaja V UBA Plc (2014) 4 ACELR 78 @ 90 – 91. This means every contract of service is regulated by agreed terms and the conditions of service or what is termed Employee/staff Handbook or Human Resources Policy. Therefore, the intention of the parties is gathered from the letter of employment and conditions of service. The court is only obliged to examine the words used since the words express the intentions of the parties. See Longe V FBN Plc (2010) 6 NWLR (Pt.1189) 1. This principle is routed in the trite position of the law that parties are bound by the terms agreed in a contract of service. If the conditions for the performance of a contract are fulfilled by the parties thereto, they will be bound. It is not the function of the court to make contract for the parties or rewrite the one which they have made. Court has no power to alter or tamper with agreed terms by the parties. The duty of court is construe the agreement to discern the intention of the parties and effect to same. See UBN V Ozigi (1994) 3 NWLR (Pt.333) 385 404. 45. The claimant’s case is hinged on his claim that his contract of service with the defendant is that of fixed term of one year renewable by another one year upon satisfactory performance. He also claimed that due process was not followed in terminating his employment with the defendant. The defendant on the other hand had pleaded that the termination of claimant’s employment was proper, that the defendant can terminate at will and the international Field Employee Policy and Procedure Manual, 2015 exhibit CW1G is not applicable to the claimant and that the one to apply to claimant was not completed by the claimant before he was terminated. All the issues raised will depend on proper construction of the service agreement and the conditions of service. 46. It is apt at this point to reproduce the service agreement, exhibits CW1A and CW1B, they read:- INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT Babatunde Olusegun Fehintola We are pleased to offer you employment in this organization on the following terms and conditions. 1. You will be employed and shall serve in the position for Finance and Admin Director in our Sokoto Programme with effect from 9th April 2015 to 8th April 2016. 2. Your duties and responsibilities will be those in your job Description together with any other duties that may be assigned to you from time to time. A copy of the job description will be issued to you when you report for employment. 3. You will be paid a consolidated gross monthly salary (including of housing & transport allowance) of Nigerian Naira One Million, One Hundred and Eighty Three Thousand Five Hundred and Forty One and Sixty Seven Kobo (N1,183,541.67) only. The net salary will be paid to you in arrears at the end of each calendar month after statutory deductions such as PAYEE, pension. 4. You will serve a probation of two (2) months. Confirmation of the appointment will depend on satisfactory completion of your probation period which entails satisfactory performance of your duties, responsibilities and satisfactory conduct as evaluated by the management. Decision on confirmation, extension of probation period or termination will be entirely at the management’s discretion except where the law requires otherwise. 5. You will be entitled to 26 working days annual leave in addition to all gazette public holidays in each complete year of service with this organization. Such leave will be taken at the convenience of both parties. Female employee will be entitled to three months (3) maternity leave and will not forfeit their annual leave. Male employee will be entitled to two weeks (2) paternity leave which will be taken within the first week of getting new born baby with a registered partner. 6. Your employment will be governed by this employment agreement and other terms which can be found in the human Resources Policies and Procedures manual (HRPPM). Where there is any conflict between the terms of this agreement and HRPPM this agreement will prevail. 7. Other benefits available to you You will also be entitled to medical for member plus 5 Defendants (Spouse and 4 children). Pension contributions, End of year Bonus (at the discretion of this organization). Group personal accident and group life insurance benefits. Details of these benefits are in the HR Manual) and will be provided when you report for employment. 8. You are required to abide by such rules and regulations as may from time to time be issued by the organization. Normally the changes will be announced through circular letters or amendments of the Human Resources Policies and Procedure manual, a copy of which will be made available to you after reporting for work. 9. In accordance with the organization’s policy relating to disclosure of information and copyright you will be required to observe the following provisions. a) You will not without the management’s approval, disclose any information concerning the business dealings, transactions, affairs or finances of the organization to any person whatsoever or otherwise or make use of any trade secrets or confidential information that may be within your knowledge as a result of the employment. This requirement is applicable while you are working for this organization as well as the period after you have left is employment. b) All notes, reports, memoranda prepared by you and equipment etc received by you during the course of employment will remain the property of the organization and shall be surrendered to some duly authorized person(s) on behalf of the organization at any time during the course of employment. 10. Employment may be terminated without cause by either party giving not less than seven (7) days written notice while on probation or paying seven (7) days salary in lieu of notice. On completion of probation the notice required will be one month or pay in lieu of notice. 11. Where for any reason funds are not available to finance your position to the contract and date, this contract can be terminated upon the giving of the one (1) month notice or payment of one (1) month salary in lieu without the employer incurring any further liability in that respect. 12. Should the employee breach any term or condition of this agreement or should the employee engage in any gross misconduct, such as physical assault; sexual harassment, insubordination, falsification or misrepresentation on company records; fraud; dishonesty; willful destruction of organization property or assets; abuse of sick leave; illegal conduct; failure, neglect or refusal to perform duties; job abandonment, excessive absentism; or creating or contributing to unsafe working conditions or any other misconduct, as demand by organization, the organization shall have the right to terminate the employment of the employee immediately without giving any notice. The organization shall pay the Employee all amounts owing as of that date, unless additional time is required In order to prepare a final accounting, in which case the company shall pay the employee all amounts owing as soon as is reasonably practicable. In the event of the employee’s death, this agreement shall terminate immediately and the employee’s estate or legal representative(s) shall be entitled to receive the amounts due to the employee. 13. The normal working hours for employee other than those working in government facilities are Monday to Friday 08:00-17:00 hours with one hour lunch break. 14. BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS and ONFLICT OF INTEREST a. While this contract remains valid the employee shall not engage in any other employment without the prior written consent of international medical corps. b. The employee his/her, relatives or close personal contacts, shall not be directly or indirectly engaged with, or have a financial interest in the business or management of partner organizations or suppliers of the employer (except with prior and full disclosure). c. The employee will inform the employer in advance of any potential conflict of interest that might arise from any business interest, private activities or membership of organizations, associations, statutory bodies etc. 15. Disciplinary proceedings – Your attention is also drawn to the disciplinary procedure in the Human Resources Policies and Procedure Manual. You should familiarize yourself with such procedures. This employment agreement is being sent to you in duplicate. Please sign it and return one copy as an indication of your acceptance of the employment under the terms and conditions described above. For: International Medical Corps Signatyre ………………………… Name Solomon Rokotovazaha Date March, 11, 2015 COUNTRY DIRECTOR I confirm that I have read and understood this employment agreement and the terms and conditions attached and I hereby accept the terms and condition s described above. Signature ……………….. Date March 16, 2015 ………………………………….. EMPLOYEE 47. The letter of extension of contract of employment dated 7th April 2016, which was tendered and admitted in evidence as exhibit CW1B, read as follows:- International Medical Corps 7th April 2016 Babatunde Olusegun Fehintola Plot 17, Davis Dodo Street, Off 2nd Avenue, Setraco, Gwarinpa, Abuja. Dear Babatunde Olusegun Fehintola. EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT EXTENSION The clause below represents addendum and changes to the current employment contract between you and international Medical Corps-Nigeria Program which you signed on the 16th March 2015 with effective contract start date being 9th April 2015. The clauses below hereby supersede and override the existing related terms and conditions in your existing contract. 1. Your employment date is hereby extended from 9th April 2016 to 8th April 2017. This replaces the stated date in Article 1 of your existing contract but your position and duty post remain the same; 2. You will be paid a consolidated gross monthly salary (inclusive of housing & transport allowance) of Nigerian Naira One Million Two Hundred and Forty Two Thousand, Seven Hundred and Eighteen and Seventy Five Kobo (1,242,718.75) only. The net salary will be paid to you via the designated bank account that you have authorized in arrears at the end of each calendar month through approved monthly payroll system and after statutory deductions have been made in line with local laws. This replaces Article 3 of your existing contract; 3. Article 4 in your existing contract is not applicable under this contract addendum but your performance will continue to be reviewed in line with international Medical Corps performance appraisal system. 4. You will be entitled to 24 working days annual leave (which will be earned 2 days per Month) in addition to all gazetted public holidays in each complete year of service with this organization. Such leave will be taken at the convenience of both parties. Male employees will be entitled to five (5) working days paternity leave which will be taken within the first week of getting the new born baby with a registered partner. 5. Your employment will be governed by this employment agreement and terms which can be found in the Human Resources Policies and Procedures Manual. 6. The terms and conditions above 1 – 5 overrides the corresponding references in the current employment contract signed by you and international Medical Corps. All other items and conditions in your current employment contract remains the same and valid. ……………………………………… …………..……………………………………... Employee’s name, signature, date Country Director’s Signature, date As acceptance Babatunde Olusegun Fehintola. 48. Generally, parties are bound by their agreement, the court saddled with the duty of construing the agreement of parties is to discover the intention of the parties, which is done by construing the words used and the court will not engage in ascribing to parties what they did not intend. The court is not allowed to in construing documents or agreements by importing into the document what was not there so as to give interpretation to suit the case of any of the parties. This is because parties to an agreement are presumed to intend what they have agreed. In fact the words written down should be given their ordinary, plain meaning, unless that will lead to absurdity or the circumstances dictate that a particular construction ought to be applied in order to give effect to that particular intention envisaged by the parties. Any construction that will negate or import extraneous matters to distort the intention of the parties must be avoided, unless it is impossible to understand the document or agreement to be construed without such additional words. See UBN Plc V Nwaokolo (1995) 6 NWLR (Pt.400) 127; UNB Ltd V Ozigi (1994) 3 NWLR (pt.333) 385. Thus, where agreement is so clear and unambiguous, a court has only one duty to construed the plain words used. Thereby avoiding interpretation that is convenient to it or to one of the parties to the agreement. See Anason Farms ltd v Nal Merchant Bank ltd (1994) 3 NWLR (Pt.331) 241. The position of the law was made very clear in the case of Adiele Ihunwo V Johnson Ihunwo & Ors. (2013) LPELR- per Akha’as, JSC, (as he then was) stated that: the meaning to be placed on a contract is that which is plain, clear and obvious. All that the court is required to do is to construe agreement of parties to discover the contemplation of the parties and not to import into the contract what was not there. The court must give effect to the wishes of the parties as expressed by words used in the agreement under consideration by the court. The main concern is the meaning of the words used in the agreement. See Amadi v Thomas Aplin co ltd (1972) 7 NSCC 262; Oduye V Nigerian Airways Limited (1987) 2 NWLR (Pt.55) 126; Amizu V Dr. Nzeribe (1989) 4 NWLR (PT.118) 755, however where the words are not clear the court will fall back on the intention behind the words. See Fidelity Bank Plc V Monye (2012) 10 NWLR (Pt.1301) 1; A.G. Nasarawa State V A.G. Plateau State (2012) 10 NWLR (PT.1309) 419. Where the written agreement of the parties is embodied in several documents, all the documents should be read together in order to discover the intention of the parties. Royal Exchange Assurance Nig. Ltd V Aswani Textile Industries Ltd (1991) 2 NWLR (PT.176) 639; Udeaga V Benue Cement Company Plc (2006) 2 NWLR (Pt.965) 600, A.G. Kaduna State V Atta (1986) 4 NWLR (Pt.38) 785; Alh. M. K. V F.B.N. Plc (2011) LPELR-8971(CA). 49. I have had a hard look at exhibits CW1A1-3 and CW1B, the terms and conditions of service agreement between the parties in this suit, I am of the clear view that the provisions of the clauses in each of the exhibits evidencing agreement of the parties are clear and unambiguous. When documents under construction by the court are clear, the operative words in the documents should be given their simple and ordinary grammatical meaning. Further, the general rule is that when the words of any instrument are free from ambiguity in themselves and when the circumstances of the case have not created any doubt or difficulty as to the proper application of the words to claimant under the instruments or the subject matter to which the instruments relates, such an instruments are always to be construed according to the strict, plain and common meaning of the words themselves. The reason is that if the conditions necessary for the formation of a contract are fulfilled by the parties thereto they will be bound by it. It is not the business of a court to make a contract for the parties or re-write the one which they have made. See Oyenuga v. Provisional Council of the University of lfe (1965) NMLR 9; UBN PLC V Ozigi (supra); Fakorede & Ors v. A.G. of Western State (1972) 1 All NLR (Pt. 1) 178 at 189. 50. It is clear to me that exhibit CW1A1-3, which is the first agreement of the parties in plain and lucid, it stated that the claimant was employed and shall serve in the position of Finance and Admin Director in the Sokoto programne of the defendant with effect from 9th April 2015 to 8th April 2016. Exhibit CW1B which is the second agreement of the parties clearly in unmistakable terms stated that the employment date of the claimant was extended from 9th April 2016 to 8th of April 2017. The second agreement excluded certain clauses of the first agreement and it stated that the clauses 1-5 in the second agreement overrides the corresponding references in the current employment contract. However, all other terms and conditions in the current claimant’s employment contract remain the same and valid. 51. It is clear from the foregoing that exhibit CW1A1-3, created a ‘Fixed Term’ contract of service between the claimant and the defendant for a specific period of one year. At the expiration of the agreement in exhibit CW1A1-3, the parties renew or created another fresh contract of service for a ‘fixed term’ of one year commencing from 9th April 2016 to 8th April 2017. 52. In order to determine whether the contract of service entered by the claimant and the defendant in this case is that of a ‘’fixed term’’ or not I shall refer to the definition of ‘fixed term’ as provided in Black’s Law Dictionary, Tenth Edition at page 755, it provide: a. ‘’fixed term’’ ‘lasting for a stipulated period of time.’ 53. Sam Erugo in his book titled; introduction to Nigerian Labour Law, contract of Employment and Labour Practice, second Edition 2019, princeton & Associates Publishing Co. ltd., defined ‘fixed term’ to mean ‘a contract which must run for a fixed , period, and one, which cannot thus be terminated earlier except for a gross breach by either party.’’ 54. What is clear from the above definitions of ‘fixed term’ is the fact that a fixed term employment must have a definite beginning and ending. That is to say it must have a certain definite time which is unchangeable. For a contract of service which was for uncertain time, does not qualify to be a fixed term contract of service. It must be noted that a fixed term contract of service is sufficiently satisfied if the contract is for a specific stated period, even though it is determinable by notice within the period of the subsistence of the contract. See Dixon V BBC (1979) 2 ALL ER 112; Wilshire V L. C. Natthe (1980) IRLR 198. In these cases the Appeal Court in England was faced with construing contract of service for a specific period that has in it embedded a clause for determination of the contract by either parties wishing to end the relationship by giving notice to determine the contract and the court held that once the period of a contract is specified it is a fixed term contract notwithstanding the existence of a clause for giving notice to determine the relationship. I am very much persuaded by these decision and I agree with the counsel for the claimant that the contract of service between the parties in this suit is a fixed term contract of service. I so hold. 55. Another germane issue that needs to be settled at this juncture is the applicable condition of service to the employment of the defendant. The defendant has contested the applicability of exhibit CW1G, international Field Employee Policy and Procedure Manual, 2015, the defendant has pleaded that exhibit CW1G is not applicable to Claimant that the conditions of service to be applicable to the claimant have not been completed by the claimant before he was terminated. Unfortunately, the defendant has failed and neglected to establish his assertion due to non-production of witness that deposed to witness statement on oath to appear to adopt the said witness statement on oath, in the circumstances I hold that the claimant has abandoned his witness statement on oath. Therefore no evidence adduced in opposition. 56. It is evident from exhibits CW1A1-3 and CW1B, that the contractual relationship between the parties is to be governed by exhibits Cw1A1-3 and Cw1B and Human Resources Policy and Procedure Manual (HRPM). See Article 6 of exhibit CW1A1-3 and Article 5 of exhibit CW1B. the agreement stated that the Human Resources Policy and Procedure Manual will be made available to the claimant upon resumption of duty. In the course of the trial the claimant tendered exhibit CW1G, as the conditions of service of the claimant. This exhibit was tendered in the course of the trial without objection. In the circumstances I accept it as the Human Resources Policy and Procedure Manual referred to in the two contract of service agreements. 57. Having determined the applicable condition of service in this case I shall proceed to consider whether the termination of claimant’s employment followed due process. 58. In termination cases, especially where an employer gives the reason for the dismissal, it is not for the employee to show that his termination was wrongful. It is for the employer to justify the said termination. The law is that once an employer gives a reason for terminating or dismissing an employee, the burden lies with him to justify the said reason. See Angel Shipping & Dyeing Ltd v. Ajah  13 NWLR (Pt.685) 551 CA. In Institute of Health ABU Hospital Management Board v. Mrs Jummai R. I. Anyip  LPELR-1517(SC), the Supreme Court held that “although it is trite that an employer is not obliged to give any reason for firing his servant all the same it is settled law that where he has preferred any reason at all it is obliged to satisfactorily prove the same as the onus is on him in that regard, otherwise the termination/dismissal may constitute a wrongful dismissal without more.’’ See also George Abomeli v. Nigerian Railway Corporation  1 NWLR (Pt. 372) 451, Ogunsanmi v. C. F. Furniture (W.A.) Co. Ltd  1 All NLR 224 and Mr. Kunle Osisanya v. Afribank Nigeria Plc  All FWLR (Pt. 360) 1480 SC at 1491;  1 – 2 SC 317. In exhibit CW1C, contract termination dated 23/1/2017, the defendant gave reason of termination of claimant’s employment due to the claimant’s inability to satisfactorily complete the performance improvement plan (PIP) provided to the claimant on October 20, 2016. The claimant has tried in his pleading and witness statement on oath to show why he could not complete the PIP. See paragraphs 8, 9 and 10 of the statement of claim and corresponding paragraphs of the witness statement on oath. 59. It is to be noted that exhibit CW1E contained e-mail messages exchanged between the claimant and officers of the defendant on the issue of PIP. The relevant e-mail messages are those from 20/10/2016 to 31/10/2016. 60. As pointed out earlier a fixed term contract of service can be terminated on gross misconduct, the email messages as contained in exhibit CW1E clearly shows that the claimant refused to complete the PIP as requested by his superior. This may justify termination of appointment. However, it must be pointed out that for a termination to be valid it must be in line with condition of service. The defendant seems to rely on the clause that allows either party to this agreement to determine the agreement by giving one Month notice, this can be gleaned from paragraph 2 of exhibit CW1C letter of termination of 23/1/2017. The paragraph read: ‘’In accordance with IMC regulations as well as Nigerian laws, international Medical Corps will provide payment of one month salary in lieu of notice together with any applicable accrued allowances to date.’’(underlines supplied for emphasis). 61. It is clear from paragraph 2 of exhibit CW1C quoted above that as at the date of termination of claimant’s employment the defendant only promised to pay one Month salary in lieu of notice. In law payment of salary in lieu of notice must be made contemporaneously with the termination as the claimant is being given his letter of termination his pay for one Month salary in lieu of notice is to be given to him. Where such has not been done as in this case, where a promise to pay was made the termination will not be proper it is in breach of the law. In Chukwumah V Shell petroleum (1993) 5 SCNJ 1; (1993) LPELR-864(SC), the apex Court has stated thus: ‘’where a contract of service gives as party a right of termination of the contract by either giving a particular length of notice or payment in lieu of the length of notice and the latter is chosen, the party seeking to put an end to the contract must pay to the other party the salary in lieu of notice at the time of termination of the contract. It is not enough that in the letter of termination he offers to pay salary in lieu of notice.’’ 62. In view of this finding that claimant has not been paid his salary in lieu of notice the termination of claimant employment is wrongful and I so hold. 63. In the circumstances what is left to be determined is what is the remedy for wrongful termination of contract of service for a fixed term like the one at hand. The law is well settled beyond per adventure that the measure of damages to be awarded by the court in contract expressed or implied to be for a fixed term or specified period is the award of indemnity of the amount that the employee would have earned over the period the employment ought to have lasted or the unexpired term. This is in accord with the principle of assessment of damages in contract as it is based on loss within the contemplation of the parties and arising from the terms of the relevant contract. Thus, where the contract of an employee is determined before the expiration of the term agreed, the employer shall be made to pay the employee the full salary he would have earned for the unexpired period of his fixed term. See Swiss Nigeria Wood Industries Ltd V Bogo (1971) 1 UILR 37; David Osuagwu v A. G. Anambra (1993) 4 NWLR (Pt.285) 13; NPA V BANJO (1972) 3 SC 175; Garabalian V Jamakani (1961) 1 All NLR 177, Shena Security Company ltd V Afropak (Nig) Ltd & Ors (2008) 34 NSCQR Pt.ii 1287; (2008) LPELR-3052(SC). 64. The claimant in this case was engaged for a definite fixed period of one year certain, at the expiration of the one year term he was re-engaged for another fixed period of one year which was to expire on 8th April 2017, but, the claimant’s employment was abruptly terminated on 23/1/2017after nine months of service and before expiration of the term of one year. In the circumstances the claimant is entitled to be paid for the residue of the unexpired period for the wrongful termination of his appointment. 65. From 23/1/2017 to 8th April 2017 when the contract of service is to expire is a period of two Months Seventeen days. The claimant is entitled to be paid his salary for the period of two Months Seventeen days which is the period left for the contract of service between the parties to elapse. Going by exhibit CW1B which fixed the claimant’s salary at N1,242,718.75, the claim will be entitled to the sum of N3,189,644.65 as the salary for the period of two Months Seventeen days. 66. In view of all I have been saying above, I found the termination of the claimant’s employment to be wrongful due to failure to pay one Month salary in lieu of notice contemporaneously with the termination letter. The claimant is entitled to be paid by the defendant the sum of N3,189,644.65 (Three Million One Hundred and Eighty Nine Thousand Six Hundred and Forty Four Naira, Sixty Five Kobo), as the salary for the period of two Months Seventeen days. The defendant is also pay the sum of N500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira), as cost to the Claimant. 67. All monetary sums payable under this judgment must be paid within 30 days from today, failing which 10% per annum shall apply. 68. Judgment entered accordingly. Sanusi Kado, Judge. REPRESENTATION: C. N. Agomuo, Esq; for the Claimant. No Legal representation.