DSS Confirms Alteration in Bayelsa Deputy Governor’s Certificate

Department of State Service (DSS) has said its investigation revealed alteration in the exemption certificate issued by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Bayelsa State Deputy Governor Lawrence Oborawharievwo Ewhrudjakpo.

The Head of Legal Department at DSS, Abdulsalam Ibrahim (who represented service’s 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.

Ibrahim was at the tribunal yesterday to tender documents and testify for the petitioner following a subpoena issued on the DSS director general by the tribunal.

The candidate of the Liberation Movement (LM) in the November 16, 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa State, 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, who was led in evidence by the petitioner’s lawyer, Pius Danbe Pius, said: “My lord, on February 22, 2020, we received a letter from an Area Court in Lugbe, Abuja, asking the DSS to investigate the NYSC exemption certificate of Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the present Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State.”

The DSS officer said his agency reached out to the NYSC.

He said the DG of NYSC wrote to the DG of DSS, confirming alteration in the surname in the exemption certificate issued Ewhrudjakpo.

Ibrahim told the tribunal that the alteration was done by the NYSC at the instance of Ewhrudjakpo.

The petitioner’s lawyer 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 annexure 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.

Upon a request by Pius, Ibrahim read the conclusion of the report of the investigation conducted by his agency, which the tribunal had admitted in evidence.


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