The Department of State Service (DSS) on Monday stated 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.
The Head, Legal Department, DSS, Abdulsalam Ibrahim, who represented DSS’ Director General, told the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Tribunal in Abuja that his agency was ordered by an Abuja court to investigate allegation of certificate forgery against Ewhrudjakpo.
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 investigation by reaching out to the NYSC.
He said the DG, NYSC wrote to the DG, DSS 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.
The petitioner’s lawyer later tendered a copy of the subpoena, a copy of the letter from the Area Court and two investigation reports dated May 27 and 28, 2020, including an annexture from the NYSC, through the witness.
Respondents’ lawyers, including Ibrahim Bawa (SAN), Chris Uche (SAN) and Chukwuma Machwkwu Umeh did not object to the tendering of the documents, following which the tribunal admitted them and marked them Exhibits P1, P2, P3 and P4.
The tribunal’s Chairman, Justice Ibrahim Sirajo adjourned till Tuesday (June 2) for the hearing of a motion by Ewhrudjakpo, challenging his invitation as the petitioner’s witness.