THE Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has expressed grave concern over the recent judgment delivered by the Federal High Court, Abuja, regarding the authenticity of Enugu State Governor Peter Mbah’s National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate. The judgment, handed down on November 6, 2023, by Hon. Justice Inyang Ekwo, has raised significant doubts about the integrity of the Nigerian judicial system.
HURIWA, during a Press Conference on Thursday, recalled that the controversy surrounding Governor Peter Mbah’s NYSC certificate began in February 2023 when the NYSC disavowed the authenticity of the certificate in question. Governor Mbah responded by filing a lawsuit against the NYSC, demanding N20 billion in compensation for conspiracy, deceit, and misrepresentation of facts.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko during the press conference, scrutinized the judgment and raised several troubling issues:
“One major concern is the assertion by Justice Inyang Ekwo that the NYSC could have prosecuted Governor Mbah if they believed his certificate was forged. This interpretation of the NYSC Act is erroneous, as the NYSC lacks the legal authority to act as a public prosecutor in cases of certificate forgery”.
HURIWA also pointed out the lack of consideration for the fact that the Inspector General of Police was actively investigating the allegations against Governor Mbah. “The absence of any mention of the actions taken by the Inspector General of Police raises doubts about the comprehensiveness and fairness of the judgment.
“The timing of the judgment, just days before the Appeal Court Lagos was set to hear the Labour Party’s appeal against the Enugu State gubernatorial election petition tribunal judgment, raises suspicions of potential interference with the ongoing legal process”.
HURIWA called for a comprehensive and impartial review of the judgment to ensure that justice is served and the rule of law prevails. They urged the judiciary to uphold its independence and adhere to the principles of fairness and justice.
HURIWA also commended the NYSC for its unwavering stance on the matter, citing it as an example of an institution with zero tolerance for corruption.
In conclusion, HURIWA called upon Nigerians to support the NYSC and urged the complete ban of individuals with questionable characters from participating in politics. The organization remains steadfast in its commitment to upholding human rights and democratic values in Nigeria and will closely monitor this case.
-November 10, 2023 @ 16:35 GMT |