PDP reacts, says NYSC DG lied on Mbah’s certificate

THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has disputed the claim by the Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Yusha’u Ahmed, that the NYSC certificate submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the state’s governor-elect Peter Mbah was not authentic.

The PDP accused the NYSC DG of lying against the governor-elect.

The NYSC DG had insisted that the NYSC certificate submitted by Mbah to INEC to enable him contest in the 2023 governorship election was not issued by the organisation.

Ahmed stated this on Friday, May 19, while featuring on Arise News Television magazine programme ‘The Morning Show’.

“You can’t go and collect certificate on the street. You can’t go and collect certificate in your room. You can’t go and collect certificate in the hotel. You should know better. Please, I don’t want to talk much about this. The Governor-elect is a lawyer. I am not a lawyer, but I know as the DG NYSC, I’m aware fully of this case,” he said.

“He came to me, I called my Director of Administration, ‘let me see your certificate’. I was so frank and clear to him that the certificate is not from us. I showed him some few examples just to help him. But he chose to go to court and even to sue whoever that he’s suing. 

“As far as I’m concerned, NYSC has not been sued. I’m yet to see anything from the court. All that people are saying is what I’m hearing. I’ve not received any court order. We don’t tolerate anything certificate racketeering.”

Meanwhile, addressing journalists in Enugu, the spokesperson of the Enugu State PDP Campaign Council, Nana Ogbodo, challenged the NYSC DG “to produce any other certificate in the series of Mbah’s certificate that has the same serial number as his”.

Ogbodo said: “The DG lied when he claimed that he told Mbah during a meeting in his office that the NYSC did not issue his certificate. The truth is that he told Mbah that the director in question neither briefed nor cleared with him before issuing the letter dated February 1, 2023 disclaiming Dr. Mbah’s discharge certificate.”

“He equally expressed surprise when Mbah showed him the letter by the NYSC national headquarters dated 7th May 2003 (reference number NYSC/DHQ/CM/27/20) to the State Director, Lagos, NYSC, re-mobilising him for the remaining part of his service year after a break, by the express and written permission of the agency, to complete BarPart II (Bar Final).

“Excerpt from the re-mobilisation letter states: ‘I am directed to refer to your letter of 24th April, Reference No. LA/01/1532/T on the above subject matter and to request you to re-instate the corps member to continue his service year from where he stopped, with effect from May 2003’.

“It is noteworthy that the directors and staff present at the meeting did not deny that the NYSC authored the letter re-mobilising Mbah, while his place of primary assignment, Udeh & Associates, Lagos, has not denied that it authored the letter reabsorbing him to complete the remaining months of his service year as well as the final clearance letter to enable him receive his NYSC discharge certificate at the end of his service.

“The DG actually told Dr. Mbah that he was barely three months in office at the time, but would resolve the matter with dispatch. But it is striking that the NYSC is yet to formally respond to Mbah’s petition since February 2, 2023. Instead, the NYSC, through its Director of Corps Certification, has continued to issue letters of disclaimer to various political interests in Enugu State, in clear contempt of a subsisting court judgment upholding the authenticity of his certificate and in relentless disparagement of his reputation.”

According to him, NYSC discharge certificates are printed by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company PLC and have security features such as watermarks and serial numbers denoting the batches.

Background

According to a report published by ThisDay newspaper on February 7, a group alleged that Mbah had forged his NYSC certificate. 

The group, Total Support for Rule of Law and Justice Initiative and Enugu Progressive Forum, subsequently called for Mbah’s disqualification from the governorship election. 




    Despite the denial of the report by the Enugu State chapter of the PDP, the issue has persisted among the candidates vying for the highly sought-after state office.

    In response, Mbah took legal action against the NYSC, seeking N20 billion in damages after the organizlsation accused him of certificate forgery.

    On Wednesday, March 22, The ICIR reported that INEC declared Mbah, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the winner of the March 18 governorship election in Enugu State.

    Mbah was declared winner after polling 160,895 votes to defeat his closest challenger, Chijioke Edeoga, of the Labour Party (LP), who scored 157,552.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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