- The DSS says there is an alteration in the exemption certificate issued by the NYSC to the deputy governor of Bayelsa state
- This was disclosed by the head, legal department, DSS, Abdulsalam Ibrahim at the Bayelsa state governorship election tribunal
- The DSS was earlier ordered by an Abuja court to investigate an allegation of certificate forgery against the Bayelsa number two citizen
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The Department of State Service (DSS) confirmed on Monday, June 1 that its investigation revealed alteration in the exemption certificate issued by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to the deputy governor of Bayelsa state, Senator Lawrence Oborawharievwo Ewhrudjakpo.
This was disclosed by the head, legal department, DSS, Abdulsalam Ibrahim, who represented his boss at the Bayelsa state governorship election tribunal in Abuja.
According to Ibrahim, the DSS was ordered by an Abuja court to investigate an allegation of certificate forgery against Ewhrudjakpo.
Ibrahim was at the tribunal to tender documents and testify for the petitioner upon a subpoena issued on the DG, DSS by the tribunal, The Nation reports.
The candidate of the Liberation Movement (LM) in the November 16, 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa, Vijah Opuama had petitioned the tribunal, alleging that Ewhrudjakpo submitted forged exemption certificate and documents that contain false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the election.
Ibrahim, led in evidence by petitioner’s lawyer, Pius Danbe Pius, said his agency conducted an investigation by reaching out to the NYSC.
He said the Director-General, NYSC wrote to his DSS counterpart confirming alteration in the surname in the exemption certificate issued Ewhrudjakpo.
Ibrahim, however, told the tribunal that the alteration was done by the NYSC at the instance of Ewhrudjakpo.
Upon a request by Pius, Ibrahim read the conclusion of the report of the investigation conducted by his agency, which the tribunal had admitted in evidence.
The conclusion of the report, as read out by Ibrahim, went thus: “Based on the foregoing and the relevant documents forwarded to this service, it is evident that the subject altered the spelling of his surname to reflect the letter D as against the letter O in the certificate of exception earlier issued by NYSC.”
Under cross-examination by a lawyer to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Emmanuel Enoidem, Ibrahim confirmed that the alteration in the certificate was effected by the NYSC.
The witness agreed with Enoidem that it is the bearer of a name that knows how best to spell his/her name.
Under cross-examination by Chris Uche (SAN), lawyer to Governor Duoye Diri of Bayelsa, the witness said the alteration was done by the NYSC upon the request by Ewhrudjakpo.
The tribunal’s chairman, Justice Ibrahim Sirajo, however, adjourned till Tuesday, June 2 for the hearing of a motion by Ewhrudjakpo, challenging his invitation as the petitioner’s witness.
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In another development, the Federal High Court in Abuja has affirmed the power of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deregister political parties which failed to comply with the provisions of the law.
In a judgment delivered by Justice Taiwo O. Taiwo on Thursday, May 28, the court affirmed that the constitutional power of the electoral commission and the reasons given by INEC for the deregistration of parties are valid and in conformity with the law.
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