The recently sworn-in deputy governor of Bayelsa State, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, has denied the allegations that he forged his National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC) exemption certificate, which he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Ewhrudjakpo came into office after the Supreme court nullified the election of David Lyon over the forged certificates his running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, presented to INEC.
Recall that last week, an Abuja Area Court ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to investigate the allegation of forgery levelled against him by an APC Chieftain, Benjamin Youdiowei. Read here.
Reacting to the allegation, the deputy governor at a press briefing in Abuja today Sunday February 23rd, said he never forged his exemption certificate but rather, what happened was that there was an error in his name in the exemption certificate issued to him by the corps but that the error has been corrected.
Speaking through his counsel, Clement Kekemeke, the deputy governor said
“Sometime in 2019 preparatory to the National Assembly elections, and specifically that of Bayelsa West senatorial district, where Senator Ewrudjakpo represented until he was sworn in as deputy governor; one Ibisene Afamkolo took him to the Federal High Court and commenced a suit by way of originating summons accusing him of presenting a forged NYSC exemption certificate.
While dealing with that matter, being a pre-election matter, at a point, it became status barred having exceeded the period of 180 days within which it ought to have been dispensed with by virtue of the provision of the 1999 Constitution.
Truly on the certificate presented to INEC by my client in his form CS001, which is the nomination form, his surname was misspelt. Instead of Ewhrudjakpo, the name was misspelt as Ewhrudjakpa. After the matter was struck out and even though my client had earlier applied for the correction of this misspelt name, he was further bored by that matter by reapplying again for the issuance of a new certificate.
He applied again, drawing the attention of the NYSC to the error on his surname and seeking a re-issuance of a correct certificate. Consequently, the NYSC responded and reissued a fresh certificate correcting our client’s name, reflecting the surname now as Ewhrudjakpo, being the issuing authority that has the loci standi to replace an erroneously issued certificate. That put the matter to rest.”