Bayelsa deputy governor in NYSC certificate scandal

Bayelsa State Deputy Governor Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo has debunked rumours his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate is fake.

Ewhrudjakpo, who is accused of forging the certificate, said his name was wrongly spelt as Ewhnwjakpa Lawrence O. on the certificate 139708 issued to him by the NYSC, and dated February 2, 1998.

Consequently, Ewhrudjakpo wrote to NYSC director-general, requesting a correction of the mistake. The letter was dated April 4, 2019, and the NYSC received it on May 6, 2019, TheNation writes.

The letter reads: “I wish to once again request for the correction of my NYSC Exemption Certificate issued in 1998. I graduated from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Nkpolu, Port Harcourt, in 1998, and was exempted from the mandatory national service on the grounds of age.

“However, when my Exemption Certificate was issued, there was an error in my surname. My surname was spelt Ewhnwjakpa instead of Ewhrudjakpo, which is the correct name both on my graduation certificate and other documents. I had earlier written requesting the correction, all to no avail.

“This error in name is causing me a lot of moral, legal and social inconveniences. It would, therefore, be appreciated if you direct the issuance of a new exemption certificate with my correct names.

“While looking forward to seeing your immediate action, please accept the assurances of my best regards.”

The NYSC issued him a fresh exemption certificate, dated September 9, 2019, with the correct surname. The fresh certificate, a certified true copy, reflected the same date (February 2, 1998) as the one with wrongly spelt name. It also came with the same serial number 139708.

It also bore the signature of the NYSC director-general who issued the first one in February 1998. Neither of the two copies had the name of the DG at the time.

This clarification followed allegations of certificate forgery levelled against the deputy governor.

All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday said it had uncovered plans by Ewhrudjakpo and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to swap the alleged forged certificate the deputy governor presented.

Deputy National Publicity Secretary Yekini Nabena, in a statement, said APC already obtained the certified true copies of the forged certificate, and urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and NYSC not to bow to pressure.

But Ewhrudjakpo’s lawyer Clement Kekemeke explained the signature was an electronic one, and the certified true copy of the certificate had to reflect the signature of the NYSC DG at the time.

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