The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has expressed grave concern over the recent judgment delivered by the Federal High Court, Abuja, regarding the authenticity of Enugu State Governor, Peter Mbah’s National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, certificate.
The judgment, handed down on November 6, 2023, by Hon. Justice Inyang Ekwo, of the Federal High Court in Abuja has raised significant doubts about the integrity of the Nigerian judicial system, the group said during its press conference on Thursday.
Speaking to journalists, the group’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, condemned the judgement while commending the NYSC for standing by its resolution that the certificate being paraded by Mbah was not issued by it.
Recall that the controversy surrounding Mbah’s NYSC certificate began in February 2023 when the NYSC disavowed the authenticity of the certificate in question.
Mbah responded by filing a lawsuit against the NYSC, demanding N20 billion in compensation for conspiracy, deceit, and misrepresentation of facts.
But the court ruled in favour of the governor which has raised certain controversies as the NYSC, which is the issuing authority denounced the certificate.
Following the judgment, Onwubiko scrutinised the judgement and raised several troubling issues.
He said, “One major concern is the assertion by Justice Inyang Ekwo that the NYSC could have prosecuted Governor Mbah if they believed his certificate was forged.
“This interpretation of the NYSC Act is erroneous, as the NYSC lacks the legal authority to act as a public prosecutor in cases of certificate forgery”.
Nwubiko also pointed out the lack of consideration for the fact that the Inspector General of Police was actively investigating the allegations against Governor Mbah.
“The absence of any mention of the actions taken by the Inspector General of Police raises doubts about the comprehensiveness and fairness of the judgment.
“The timing of the judgment, just days before the Appeal Court Lagos was set to hear the Labour Party’s appeal against the Enugu State gubernatorial election petition tribunal judgment, raises suspicions of potential interference with the ongoing legal process”.
The Rights Group therefore called for a comprehensive and impartial review of the judgment to ensure that justice is served and the rule of law prevails.
It further urged the judiciary to uphold its independence and adhere to the principles of fairness and justice.
While commending the NYSC for its unwavering stance on the matter, it said the institution has shown itself as an example of an institution with zero tolerance for corruption.
The group further called on Nigerians to support the NYSC and urged the complete ban of individuals with questionable characters from participating in politics.
‘NYSC Lacks Authority To Prosecute Gov Mbah’ — Rights Group Faults Court Judgment On Gov Certificate is first published on The Whistler Newspaper