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ENUGU: DSS clears Mbah over alleged NYSC certificate forgery

THE Department of State Security (DSS) has debunked claims by the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) the Governor of Enugu State and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the March 18 governorship election, Peter Mbah, forged his NYSC discharge certificate.

The DSS made its position known in a written statement on oath adopted by its representative, Yahaya Isa Mohammed, at the ongoing Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal as Mbah called two witnesses to open his defence on Wednesday.

Giving evidence, the subpoenaed DSS Deputy Director, Operations and Strategic Department said the security agency commenced an investigation into the discharge certificate controversy, following a petition to it by Mbah dated February 8, 2023.

The DSS said the certificates in a series that included Mbah’s were found to have been issued to Corps members in Lagos, contrary to the NYSC’s claim.

It frowned on the NYSC’s misplacement of Mbah’s original file and opened a temporary one for him, noting that the Corps was also unable to trace to whom or which state or states of the federation 12 of its certificates, A808297 to A808308, were issued.

The security agency said, “The failure of the NYSC to maintain a proper record-keeping system was the cause of its inability to trace Peter Ndubuisi Mbah’s initial certificate”, adding “It would be wrong for the NYSC to blame Peter Ndubuisi Mbah for its own failure in record keeping”.

Mohammed said the investigation revealed: “That there were exchanges of correspondences between Mbah and the NYSC at every stage of their interactions. Mbah did not take any action without the NYSC’s approval.

“That Mbah’s file with the NYSC got missing at some point in time and NYSC started using a temporary file for him. For instance, in NYSC response to his application for deferment, the file number was LA/10/1532, while in their response to his remobilization application, the file number was LA/01/1532/T.

“That there was a mix-up in his record as a result of the missing file.

“That the difference in Mbah’s certificate number compared to others that were mobilized at the same time, is due to the inability of NYSC to trace the initial file where the first certificate A678 was.”

According to him, “from the documents presented by NYSC regarding certificate numbers, about twelve (12) certificate numbers (A808297-A808308) which include that of Mbah, remained unaccounted for in the eight (8) series by the NYSC.”

Mohammed stated further stated, “That the law firm, Udeh &Associates where Mbah served, cleared him for his monthly clearance for eleven (11) months covering January-June, 2002 and May-August, 2003 as well as his final clearance in September, 2003 covering the period of his first mobilization and re-instatement indicated that he served, hence no need for him to forge certificate.

“That NYSC did not do a thorough job before concluding that the certificate Mbah presented is fake.

“That the Director Corps Certification (Ibrahim Muhammad) failed to exploit all available avenues to ensure that due diligence was done before issuing a statement on the matter.

“That against NYSC claim that “8 Series” Certificates were not issued in Lagos State, upon insistence by the Service for them to check their records properly, certificates in that series were discovered to be have issued to some Corps members who served in Lagos State.

“That NYSC did not have a proper record. This resulted in the misplacement of Mbah’s initial file by NYSC and the use of temporary file for him as well as its inability to trace whom or which State(s) twelve (12) of its certificates (A808297 to A808308) were issued.

“That all through Mbah’s service year, from the first mobilization to his service reinstatement after his Bar Final examination, Udeh & Associates where he did his primary assignment, issued him clearance letters on a monthly basis.

“That NYSC certificate series are not based on State of service, as all certificate series including the “8-Series” were issued in all the States of the federation as against NYSC’s claim that its certificates series are State-based.

“That the claim by Muhammad (NYSC Director of Corps Certification) that Mbah’s supposed ‘6-Series’ certificate was part of the certificates shredded/destroyed by the NYSC negates the claim that he did not serve, as it is impossible to produce the said shredded certificate for Mbah, if he did not serve”.

Continuing, the DSS said if further found: “That the failure of the NYSC to maintain a proper record keeping system was the cause of its inability to trace Peter Ndubuisi Mbah’s initial certificate”, adding that “it would be wrong for the NYSC to blame Peter Ndubuisi Mbah for its own failure in record keeping”.

The agency, therefore recommended: “That the NYSC should retract its initial letter that Peter Ndubuisi Mbah’s certificate was not issued by it, as it has failed to trace its records for twelve (12) certificates (A808297-A808308), inclusive of Peter Ndubuisi Mbah’s.

“That the NYSC, the petitioner as well as other relevant action agencies such as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) be intimated about the outcome of the investigation.

“That the NYSC be requested to explain how twelve (12) certificates with serial numbers (A808297 to A808308) are still unaccounted for, as well as be requested to trace the said certificates”.

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