National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, has replied to the suit brought against it by the Governor of Enugu State, Peter Mbah, over his controversial discharge certificate.
They submitted to the court documentary proof affirming its stand that it did not issue the certificate in Mbah’s possession.
The NYSC’s deposition at the Federal High Court, Abuja, made by its 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.
The documents submitted by the NYSC to the Court include the alleged forged certificate Mbah submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, 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 Directorate of State Services letters of investigation, among others.
In his court filings, Governor Mbah claimed that he completed his national youth service and was issued a discharge certificate.
Recall that the Governor had taken the NYSC to Court, claiming N20 billion for what he described as conspiracy, deceit, and misrepresentation of facts.
Besides N20 billion damages, Mbah also wants the Court to declare 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 also argued that the declaration must state that he was issued a certificate of national service numbered A808297 upon completing his service year in 2003.
However, the NYSC, in its deposition, insisted that the Enugu State governor did not complete his service year and that the body did not issue the certificate of discharge he paraded.
To buttress its claim, the NYSC filed as evidence, the data sheet where Mbah was to have signed and collected his discharge certificate, averring 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 referred to the calligraphic writing on Mbah’s certificate and stated that the writing style on the Governor’s certificate differed from the one on all other certificates issued to discharged corps members during his batch.
Explaining 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 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 the NYSC did not issue Peter Mbah any discharge certificate because he did not complete his service year, even when he was mobilised for the same, and that the discharge certificate prepared for him was later returned to the NYSC headquarters, along with other unclaimed certificates, after which it was destroyed along with other unclaimed certificates, in the presence of security operatives.
“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’.
“Following the 1″ Respondent’s Top Management’s directive on August 18 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 said in its deposition.