Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has struck out the objection of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) to the N20 billion suit filed by Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu state over the authenticity of his NYSC discharge certificate.
Recall that Mbah dragged the agency before the court seeking damages of N20 billion over alleged conspiracy, deceit, and wilfull misrepresentation of facts against him.
However, in response to the suit, NYSC through its lawyer, Aminu Sadauki, filed an objection, arguing that Mbah should have first petitioned or appealed to the Presidency, if he felt aggrieved over any actions or statements by the NYSC regarding his certificate, rather than approaching the court straightaway.
Sadauki said the Governor failed to take the opportunity provided in Section 20 of the NYSC Act before approaching the court.
Mbah, in response to the objection, through his counsel, Emeka Ozoani, told the court to dismiss the objection saying Section 20 of the NYSC Act, which NYSC’s lawyer referred to does not apply to him.
Ozoani told the court to dismiss the objection on the ground that he is neither a serving Corps member nor an employee of the NYSC.
Ekwo, on his part, said the Section 20 of the NYSC Act cited by the applicant, NYSC, is not applicable to the respondent in the application.
According to the judge, the section is only applicable to serving members of the NYSC.
“I am minded to agree with the Plaintiff on whom the provision of Section 20 of the NYSC Act, 2004 applies. This means that the provision has a category of persons to whom it is applicable.
“A keen perusal of the provision of Section 22 (1) and (2) of the Act would reveal that it sets out the person to whom the provision of S. 20 of the Act applies, which is a ‘member of the service corps’, which is defined to mean a person registered as a member of the service corps.
“It is then stated in Section 21 (2) that for the purpose of the Act, the reference to a ‘member of the service corps’ includes, unless to the context otherwise requires or it is otherwise expressly provided, a prospective member of the service corps or any person who is a registered member.
“It is rather sad that the objection of the defendant (NYSC) has been used to waste the time of this court, this objection is hereby struck out.
“The substantive matter is adjourned to September 21 and 22, 2023 for hearing,” the court held.
via: Information Nigeria