The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has responded to the suit brought against it by the newly sworn-in Governor of Enugu State, Peter Mbah, over his controversial NYSC discharge certificate.
A deposition at the Federal High Court, Abuja, taken from the Assistant Director in the Corps Certification Department, Mrs. Rhoda Dawa, revealed that the discharge certificate that Governor Mbah claimed was issued to him did not emanate from the NYSC.
Documents submitted to the court by the NYSC to prove that the Enugu State governor may have submitted a forged discharge certificate include the alleged forged certificate Mbah submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, a photocopy of the original copy of the certificate that was to be issued to Mbah, a date sheet showing where discharged corps members signed for their certificates, another data sheet with the names of unclaimed certificates, official circulars authorising the destruction of unclaimed certificates, photographs of the incineration of the unclaimed discharge certificates, samples of the NYSC discharge certificates during the period the governor was supposed to have performed his compulsory national service, Police and Department of State Services’ letters of investigation, among others.
This medium had reported that Governor Mbah, in his court filings, claimed that he duly completed his national youth service and was given a certificate of discharge.
The governor earlier sued the NYSC, claiming N20 billion in damages for what he described as conspiracy, deceit, and misrepresentation of facts.
Mbah is also seeking a declaration that he participated in the NYSC scheme for one calendar year via a call-up letter numbered FRN/2001/800351 with the Lagos code LA/01/1532.
He argued that the declaration must state that he was issued a certificate of national service numbered A808297 upon completing his service year in 2003.
But contrary to these claims, the NYSC, in its deposition, which this medium sighted on Sunday, insisted that the Enugu State governor did not complete his service year and that the certificate of discharge he parades was not issued by the body.
To prove its claim, the NYSC filed as evidence, the data sheet where Mbah was to have signed and collected his discharge certificate, saying that while the certificate presented by the Enugu governor bears the serial number – A808297, the one prepared for him, but which he did not collect, bore the serial number – 673517.
In what looks like forensic evidence, the NYSC made reference to the calligraphic writing on Mbah’s certificate and stated that the style of the writing on the governor’s certificate was quite different from the one on all other certificates issued to discharged corps members during his batch.
Stating that the corps directorate hired one person for the calligraphic writings on all certificates, it insisted that there was no way Mbah’s own could be different from those of other corps members that passed out during the same period.
“The 1″ Respondent’s (NYSC) National Directorate Headquarters issued the Certificates for the Members of the Service Corps in Lagos State, including the Certificate of the Applicant, using a Certificate Issuance Register.
“The register indicated the basic data of the Members of the Service Corps, including their State Code, name, Call-Up Number, and Certificate Number in serial form. A copy of the relevant page of the Certificate Issuance Register at the National Directorate Headquarters, showing the Applicant in asterisks with Certificate Number 673517, is attached herewith and marked as Exhibit ‘NYSC 5,’” the NYSC said in its deposition.
The NYSC also stated that contrary to Mbah’s claim that his probable date of discharge was September 15, 2002, his probable date of discharge upon completing his programme at the Nigerian Law School, was September 15, 2003.
It was further averred that Peter Mbah was not issued any discharge certificate by the NYSC because he did not complete his service year, even when he was mobilised for the same.
The NYSC further noted that the discharge certificate prepared for him was later returned to its headquarters, along with other unclaimed certificates, after which it was destroyed along with other unclaimed certificates, in the presence of security operatives.
“Following the 1″ Respondent’s Top Management’s directive on 18th August 2021, all the outdated, unused, and cancelled Certificates of National Service and Certificates of Exemption, Certificates of absconded Members of the Service Corps, including the Applicant’s Certificate Number A673517 which he was not available to collect, have been disposed of by incineration,” the NYSC further said in its deposition.