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A subpoenaed witness from the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) called by the governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Chijioke Edeoga, yesterday informed the Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Enugu that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharge certificate submitted to the commission by the Enugu State governor, Dr Peter Mbah, was certified by the NYSC.
The witness whose name was given as Mr Dimas Friday Emmanuel, while under cross-examination by Mbah’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), submitted that Mbah’s NYSC discharge certificate was forwarded to the NYSC for authentication, stressing that the NYSC certifies only a document emanating from it.
Chief Olanipekun had said to the INEC witness, ‘Have a look at Exhibit EPT01/A, B, and C, particularly the NYSC Certificate there, that Certificate which you said Mbah forged was certified by the NYSC’, to which he replied in the affirmative.
‘Am I correct to say that NYSC can only certify a document in its possession and a document emanating from the institution?” Again, he said ‘Yes’.
On further cross-examination by the counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Alex Iziyon, the witness, who is a legal practitioner, also admitted that Mbah’s NYSC Certificate carried a stamp of the NYSC, certifying the document.
‘Look at Exhibit 08A and B, there is an NYSC Certificate, it carries a stamp of NYSC, certifying that document’, Iziyon had asked, to which the witness answered “Yes”.
The witness further confirmed that the name on the said certificate was Mbah Peter Ndubuisi, that it was dated 6th January 2003 and that the certificate number was also A808297.
Mbah’s NYSC discharge certificate has been a subject of controversy between the governor and the NYSC, with the NYSC alleging that Mbah forged the certificate with number A808297 and that it was not issued by them, while Mbah insisted that it was genuine and issued by the institution.
Meanwhile, the witness, Mr. Emmanuel confirmed upon cross examination that LP’s governorship candidiate, Chijioke Edeoga’s name, was not contained in Exhibit 16, being the LP membership register for Enugu, which he also tendered.
Efforts by Edeoga’s lawyer, Ehitayo Fatomi, to have the court refuse the admission of the register was overuled by the court.