The absence of Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja, on Monday, stalled the commencement of the N20billion slammed against the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), by Peter Mbah, expected to be sworn in on Monday as the next Governor of Enugu State.
Mbah had filed a lawsuit against the NYSC and Ibrahim Muhammad, its Director of Corps Certification, for publishing a disclaimer on the issuance of a discharge certificate, he claimed he obtained on January 6, 2003, which the body denied issuing him, with Yisha’u Ahmed, Director General, who spoke on the issue on Friday, reiterating that the incoming governor was parading a fake document.
Ekwo, said to be on an official assignment, had earlier, prohibited Muhammad, the NYSC, and any of their agents from engaging in further publication on May 15, pending the hearing and resolution of the main issue, following an ex parte motion made by Mbah filed through his lawyer, Emeka Ozoani (SAN).
But the court did not sit on Monday and the matter, which was on number 14 on the cause list, was adjourned until May 31 for hearing of the motion on notice.
The politician, had predicated his motion in the suit under Section 13(1) & (2) of the FHC Act Cap F12, Vol. 6, Law of Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and Order 26 Rule 6(1) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019, came to the court on 10 grounds, including that he fully participated in the NYSC scheme and was duly issued with the certificate.
He told the court that after graduating in law from the University of East London in 2000, he returned to Nigeria and as a prerequisite to practice as barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, applied and was admitted into the Bar part 1 programme of the Nigerian Law School.
He further said upon completing the bar part I exam, he had to wait for the bar part 2 programme, and was advised that instead of spending time idling around, he should proceed to the mandatory one year NYSC programme, adding that he was called up for NYSC and was deployed initially to Nigerian Ports Authority, Apapa, for his primary assignment but was rejected by the organisation, before securing a role at the law firm of Ude & Associates.
“The plaintiff in the course of his service year and after six months of NYSC, applied and was granted approval to defer the NYSC in order to enable him complete the bar final exam. Thereafter, the plaintiff was remobilised to finish the NYSC programme, which he did complete,” he said, averring that upon completion of the NYSC, he was issued the certificate of National Service No. A.808297 dated January 6 2003,
NYSC had, in a letter of February 1, written a letter signed by Muhammed said that the certificate belonging to Mbah, who contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and was declared winner of the March 18, election in controversial circumstances, was not issued by them.