Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has barred the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) from further denying that it issued the NYSC discharge certificate being paraded by Enugu Governor, Peter Mbah.
Justice Ekwo also awarded N5 million against NYSC in favour of the applicant (Peter Mbah) in damages.
Delivering judgment on Monday in the suit numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/1611/2023 filed by Governor Mbah against NYSC, Justice Ekwo held that evidence before the court showed that Mbah participated in the NYSC programme and was issued a certificate of completion by the body.
Justice Ekwo held that the NYSC misrepresented facts in its claim that it did not issue the certificate Mbah submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the last governorship election.
The judge faulted the NYSC for not producing before the court, two files containing information about Mbah’s participation in the programme, noting that it (NYSC) handled the case with levity.
Governor Mbah had, in his court filings, claimed that he duly completed his national youth service and was given a certificate of discharge.
Apart from the award of N20 billion in damages, Mbah sought 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 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.
NYSC, in its response at the Abuja Court, filed evidence to prove Mbah actually forged his discharge certificate.
In a deposition at the Federal High Court, Abuja, deposed to by the Assistant Director in the Corps Certification Department, Mrs Rhoda Dawa, NYSC submitted, among other things: the certificate allegedly forged by Mbah which was submitted to the 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 people who had not claimed their certificates.
Others are 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.