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Gov. Mbah’s NYSC Certificate Forgery Allegation Latest

These are the best of times for Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State as court has delcared that the certificate he presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was authentic and validly issued by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday, November 6th, 2023 awarded N5 million in damages against NYSC for alleging that the corps’ discharged certificate held by Mbah was fake.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment held that the Director General of the NYSC and the corps, who were defendants in the suit, were guilty of misrepresentation of material facts.

Justice Ekwo further held that evidence before the court showed that the governor, though mobilized for service in 2001, completed his service in 2003.

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The court said Mbah, midway into his service, sought and after receiving permission from the NYSC to attend the Nigeria Law School, was reinstated into the NYSC in 2003.

Besides, the judge said that while the NYSC did not challenge the evidence that Mbah served in the law firm of one Udeh, he criticized the corps for not charging the governor for forgery if they believed that they didn’t issue the said NYSC certificate to him.

He said the NYSC was mischievous and acted in bad faith by denying Mbah’s NYSC certificate.

For those who don’t know, Mbah had sued the NYSC and its Director, Corps Certification, Mr Ibrahim Muhammad for publishing a disclaimer denying the issuance of a discharge certificate issued to him on January 6, 2003.

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Justice Ekwo, on May 15, restrained the NYSC, Muhammad, and any of their agents from, henceforth, engaging in such publication pending the hearing and determination of the substantive matter.

The order followed an ex parte motion moved by Mbah’s counsel, Mr Emeka Ozoani (SAN).

But the NYCS, in its preliminary objection dated May 19 and filed May 22, sought an order dismissing or striking out the suit for want of jurisdiction and competence.

Giving three grounds of argument, the corps said that Mbah did not appeal to the president as required by the provisions of Section 20 of the National Youth Service Corps Act, Cap N84, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 before instituting the suit against the defendants.

It argued that an appeal to the president was a condition precedent to instituting an action against the defendants in any court of law in Nigeria.

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According to the NYSC, consequent upon the refusal of the plaintiff/respondent to comply with the provisions of Section 20 of the National Youth Service Corps Act, this suit is premature for the jurisdiction of the court to crystalise.

The NYSC had, on Feb. 1, written a letter signed by Mr Ibrahim Muhammed saying that the corps did not issue the NYSC certificate belonging to Mbah.