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CSO to NYSC: Provide clarity to grey areas on Mbah’s discharge certificate

CSO to NYSC: Provide clarity to grey areas on Mbah’s discharge certificate
May 22
10:57 2023

Competent Governance for Accountability and Trust, a civil society organisation (CSO), has asked the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to provide more details about the discharge certificate of Peter Mbah, Enugu governor-elect.

In a statement, the CSO said the recurring controversy over discharge certificates wouldn’t exist if necessary reforms like digitalisation and transparent authentication processes are in place.

The statement was signed by Omoba Micheal, its national coordinator, and Godwin Erheriene, the deputy coordinator of the organisation.

The CSO was reacting to the controversy over the discharge certificate of Peter Mbah, Enugu governor-elect.

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In February 2023, NYSC issued a letter signed by Ibrahim Muhammed, director of certifications, saying the certificate belonging to Mbah was not issued by the agency.

Mbah approached the federal high court with an ex parte application after which the NYSC was restrained from issuing a disclaimer on the certificate.

Subsequently, Mbah sued the corps for the controversy, demanding N20bn for damages.

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“The fact is that an NYSC discharge certificate is not a privilege conferred by the NYSC,” the CSO said, adding that “it is the statutory right of anyone, who diligently undergoes the one-year mandatory service”.

The CSO, who is calling for a total reform and retooling of the NYSC, also said the controversy over Mbah’s discharge certificate is a symptom of many of the endemic rot in the country’s public institutions. 

“Interestingly, the NYSC has not denied that it mobilised Dr. Mbah for national service vide call-up number 01134613 and reference number NYSC/FRN/2001/800351; it has not denied that it posted Mbah to Lagos State; it has not denied that it posted Mbah to Udeh & Associates for his primary assignment or that the law firm accepted him vide a letter to State Director of the NYSC in Lagos dated 11th March 2002; it has not denied that it gave Dr. Mbah written permission dated 1st October 2002 and with reference number NYSC/DHQ/CM/M/27  to defer the remaining part of his service year and return to the Nigerian Law School for his Bar Final,” the statement reads.

“Importantly, the NYSC has not denied its letter of 7th May 2003 with reference number NYSC/DHQ/CM/27/20 directing its State Director in Lagos to ‘re-instate the corps member (Peter Mbah) to continue his service year from where he stopped, with effect from May 2003’.

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“Udeh & Associates has not equally denied that it issued the various clearance letters that enabled Mbah to receive his monthly allowance during his service year and the final clearance letter certifying that he completed the one year of NYSC in their office from 7th January 2002 to 6th January 2003.”

The CSO expressed concern over the possibility of fabricating a discharge certificate having passed through the processes approved by the NYSC.

The group further asked where Mbah’s authentic certificate is since the NYSC claimed that it did not issue the discharge certificate.

‘LAWSUIT SHOWS CORRUPTION HAS EATEN DEEP INTO NYSC’

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The CSO noted that the NYSC is yet to tell Nigerians why it failed to formally reply to Mbah’s petition after four months.

“These are the material facts that the NYSC should have conveyed to the public or in response to Mbah’s petition to it over the matter dated 6th February 2023,” the CSO said.

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“The Mbah vs. NYSC certificate saga that has now ended up in a N20 Billion lawsuit is an embarrassment and a testimony to the negligence, irresponsibility, rot and corruption that have eaten deep into the NYSC and our public sector in general.”

The CSO urged the federal government to “urgently reform the agency or disband it altogether if it has outlived its usefulness.”

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