The Department of State Service (DSS) has said the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate of Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, was altered.
Abdulsalam Ibrahim, Head of DSS Legal Department, said this at the Bayelsa governorship election tribunal in Abuja
Vijah Opuama, candidate of the Liberation Movement (LM) in the 2019 governorship election, had petitioned the tribunal, alleging that Ewhrudjakpo submitted exemption certificate and documents that contain false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Ibrahim informed the tribunal that the DSS, following the petition, was ordered by an Abuja court to investigate the allegation of certificate forgery against Ewhrudjakpo.
Ibrahim, led in evidence by Pius Pius, the petitioner’s lawyer, said: “My lord, on the 22nd of February 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 lawyer explained that the secret police reached out to the NYSC to investigate the matter.
He said the NYSC Director-General responded, confirming the alteration in the surname in the exemption certificate issued Ewhrudjakpo.
Ibrahim, however, told the tribunal that the alteration was done by the NYSC at the instance of Ewhrudjakpo.
Piys, the petitioner’s lawyer later 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.
Under cross-examination by lawyer to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Emmanuel Enoidem, Ibrahim confirmed that the alteration in the certificate was effected by the NYSC.
The witness agreed with Enoidem that it is the bearer of a name that knows how best to spell his/her name.
Ibrahim Sirajo, chairman of the tribunal, adjourned the matter till Tuesday for the hearing of a motion by Ewhrudjakpo, challenging his invitation as the petitioner’s witness.