A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ruled in favor of Enugu State Governor, Peter Mbah, in a case against the National Youth Service Corps , NYSC. The court awarded N5 million in damages against the NYSC for alleging that Mbah’s discharged certificate was fake.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, presiding over the case, found the NYSC and its Director-General guilty of misrepresentation of material facts.
The judge declared that the certificate presented by Governor Mbah to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was authentic and validly issued by the NYSC.
The judge stated that in 2003, Mbah was reinstated into the NYSC after requesting and receiving permission from the organization midway through his service to attend the Nigeria Law School.
While the NYSC did not contest the evidence that Mbah worked for one Udeh’s law firm, Justice Ekwo chastised the corps for failing to prosecute the governor for forgery if they truly thought that they had not given him the aforementioned NYSC certificate.
He claimed that by refusing Mbah’s certificate, the corps had behaved dishonestly and in bad faith.
The evidence presented during the trial showed that although Governor Mbah was mobilized for NYSC service in 2001, he completed his service in 2003 after attending the Nigeria Law School.
If the NYSC had thought the certificate was fake, they should have charged the governor with forgery, as Justice Ekwo criticized them for not doing so.
Prior to the substantive matter being heard, the court had issued an injunction on May 15th, preventing the NYSC from publishing disclaimers regarding the certificate. The court rejected the preliminary objection that the NYSC had filed in response.
The NYSC had sent a letter on February 1, signed by Ibrahim Muhammed, stating that Mbah’s NYSC certificate was not issued by the corps. Mbah, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party , PDP, was declared the winner of the Enugu State governorship election in March.
This judgment represents a significant victory for Governor Peter Mbah in clearing his name regarding his NYSC certificate.