PDP aspirant and Saraki candidate Skips NYSC and Forges certificates
The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Kwara State in the drawing near standard elections, Razak Atunwa, did not take part in Nigeria’s compulsory country wide young adults service scheme, PREMIUM TIMES Affirms.
Instead, he procured a forged discharge certificate of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) which he submitted to the PDP to show his eligibility for public office.
The glowing revelation approximately Mr Atunwa happened four months after PREMIUM TIMES uncovered then finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, for challenge comparable behavior, and most effective a little over a month due to the fact the embattled valid emerge as compelled to surrender due to the scandal.
The Kwara flesh presser’s conduct also came to mild exactly a month after this medium stated that the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, also dodged the compulsory provider, making him ineligible for public place of work and employment in Nigeria.
Although the minister became later disqualified through his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) from jogging for governorship of his local Oyo State, President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to do away with him from place of job.
The NYSC law calls for every Nigerian who attended college or polytechnic to take part inside the national youngsters scheme for twelve months after commencement, supplied the man or woman finished in advance than age 30. Failure to serve should limit such character from gainful employment in Nigeria, and making faux claims about serving have to appeal to up to fourteen years in prison.
Also, every person who graduated before 30 but intentionally declined to serve has devoted a criminal offense that could appeal to 12-month imprisonment, even supposing the individual did not forge NYSC documents.
Only someone who acquired a degree after 30 or served inside the military or won countrywide honours medal may want to qualify for exemption certificate underneath the NYSC law.
Mr Atunwa, born on October 17, 1969, stated he studied law at the University of East London, graduating in 1992 at age 23.
Having earned a bachelor’s degree at 23, Mr Atunwa, going through Section 2 of the NYSC Act, ought to have participated within the 12 months-prolonged country wide company.
THE AUDACIOUS FORGERY
But in place of gift himself for national service, Mr. Atunwa stayed returned in the United Kingdom, returning simplest in 2005 to sign up for the cupboard of then Governor Bukola Saraki in Kwara State at the age of 36.
Between 2005 and 2010 whilst he stepped right down to run for workplace, the flesh presser turned into commissioner at four unique ministries, along with Land and Housing, Works and Transport, Information and Home Affairs and Finance.
It become now not immediately clean whether or not or no longer Mr Atunwa presented any NYSC record to government considering 2005 whilst he became first appointed commissioner, 2011 while he have become speaker and 2015 whilst he have become member of the House of Representatives.
But to cozy the PDP governorship price ticket on October 1, he submitted a counterfeit NYSC discharge certificate and accompanied it with a testimony, indicating he lied on oath, an offence that attracts up to 14 years in jail.
Mr Atunwa — who claimed he qualified for regulation exercise in the United Kingdom after acquiring undergraduate and grasp’s levels at separate universities in London — indicated inside the nomination record he submitted at the PDP national secretariat in Abuja that he partook in the young people carrier scheme among 1995 and 1996.
The lawmaker, who is chair of the House Committee on Justice, then observed it with a notarised affidavit sworn at the Kwara State High Court in Ilorin on September 10. The report was connected to his PDP expression of hobby form.
He signed the report no matter a clause indicating he remained automatically disqualified as candidate if any declaration or records he furnished is discovered to be fake, erroneous, or deceive the party or its sellers from making right assessment of his competence to contest the governorship election beneath the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
It remains to be visible if the PDP will put into effect its personal rule and disqualify him as a result of this revelation. Governorship elections are scheduled to hold February 2019.
One could see at first look that Mr. Atunwa’s so-called discharge certificates is fake.
For one, Mr Atunwa’s ‘certificates’ purportedly obtained in 1996 carried the signature of Walter Oki (brigadier standard on the time). But Mr Oki became most effective made NYSC director-General in 2002. In 1996, Soyemi Sofoluwe (brigadier preferred) was director-standard of the corps and signed all discharge and exemption certificates in the course of the length. He become succeeded with the aid of S.M. Dule (brigadier popular), who served as director-general between 1996 and 2000.
To further crosscheck the authenticity of Mr Atunwa’s ‘certificate’, PREMIUM TIMES in comparison his with original ones that bore the fundamentals of the report, mainly the ones from foreign university graduates.
At least 3 ministers who lower back to Nigeria to serve after finishing from faculties within the UK and america had comparable name-up mark in their certificate, which generally carries the acronym of the organization, the nation in which the participant served, wherein the individual changed into called up, the year of service and the serial number for the certificate.
For instance, Ibe Kachikwu, the minister of kingdom for petroleum, has his NYSC certificates marked as NYSC/OY/FORN/82/7101. Mr Kachikwu turned into deployed for carrier in Oyo State (OY) on August 16, 1982, passing out a yr in a while August 15, 1983. He came returned to Nigeria to serve after finishing his doctorate in law at Harvard University (FORN) in December 1981.
Aisha Abubakar, the minister of nation trade and enterprise, lower back to Nigeria after concluding her masters in improvement studies on the University of Leeds. Her certificate is marked NYSC/LA/FRN/91/18170, indicating that she served in Lagos, after graduating from a overseas college.
Khadija Bukar Ibrahim, the minister of country overseas affairs, also schooled abroad. She attended Roehampton Institute for Higher Education, affiliated with the University of Surrey and finished in 1989. She enlisted within the NYSC on October 2, 1990 and surpassed out on October 1, 1991. Her certificates is marked NYSC/LA/FRN/90/28750, indicating that she served in Lagos (LA) after graduating from a overseas college (FRN) in 1990.
However, Mr. Atunwa’s certificate, in place of bear FRN or FORN (code for overseas graduates) has KWP (a code reserved for graduates of Kwara State Polytechnic) as identification mark. But the politician did not graduate from Kwara Polytechnic. He claimed he attended the University of East London for the first diploma and the University of London for his grasp’s.
“This is the most audacious forgery considering PREMIUM TIMES started out investigation into NYSC claims of senior authorities officers and politicians normally,” Liborous Oshoma, a Lagos-based felony practitioner, told PREMIUM TIMES Sunday afternoon.
Mr Oshoma stated Mr Atunwa seemed to have damaged Nigerian law two times.
“Based on Section thirteen (c) of the NYSC Act, even being in possession of a solid NYSC certificate is already against the law,” Mr Oshoma stated. “And then we now have a sworn statement that he swore to and walked himself into perjury, some other criminal offence.”
Mr Oshoma said Mr Atunwa’s case became greater unfortunate for Nigeria.
“You should say Kemi Adeosun did not recognize a few humans gave her fake record, and Mr Shittu become being exuberant, however this unique case is very troubling,” the lawyer said. “He knew of these recent instances and nevertheless went on to do it.
“This is among the results of the president’s failure to act on time or act at all at the already uncovered instances. Since the previous finance minister turned into capable of get away from the ountry with out prosecution and the communications minister stays in workplace despite being determined not to be certified for the activity, this man ought to easily dismiss any legal ramifications of his motion,” he brought.
“Since it has now come to the fore that in case you graduated before 30, both from a Nigerian college or abroad, you know you do now not qualify for exemption and you need to serve and if you forge your record you would be exposed, I might have predicted that every one people who schooled overseas might begin investigating whether the NYSC report they were given turned into actual or no longer. There is no hiding place anymore.”