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HomeNewsAlleged forgery: Lawyer seeks probe of Ondo ministerial nominee

Alleged forgery: Lawyer seeks probe of Ondo ministerial nominee

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A human rights and constitutional lawyer, Mr Festus Ogun, has written to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to probe a forgery allegation against Mr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, a ministerial nominee from Ondo State.

In the letter addressed to the NYSC Director-General, copies of which were made available to newsmen on Monday in Akure, the lawyer alleged that Tunji-Ojo presented questionable academic credentials and certificates (including the NYSC discharge certificate) to the National Assembly.

The letter, dated Aug. 7, was written on behalf of Ogun by the law firm of FOLEGAL Legal Practitioners and Consultants and signed by its associate counsel, Damilola Adesanya.

Relying on the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the petitioner requested that NYSC probe the allegations and furnish the public with all the information relating to the nominee’s credentials.

The petitioner recalled that President Bola Tinubu nominated and forwarded the name of Tunji-Ojo to the Senate as minister-designate from Ondo State.

According to him: “In his Curriculum Vitae submitted to the Senate, Mr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo stated that he was born on May 1, 1982. He further claimed to have graduated from the London Metropolitan University, London, United Kingdom, between 2003 and 2005.

“Curiously, about two decades after he purportedly graduated and at the age of 37, he purportedly enrolled for the compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). However, it was at about the same time that he was a federal lawmaker representing the people of Akoko North East/Akoko North-West federal constituency of Ondo State at the National Assembly.”

He added: “Under Sections 2(1) and 13(1) of the NYSC Act, 1993, every Nigerian under the age of 30, who completes his or her undergraduate degree, shall report for compulsory youth service.

“Mr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo breached this law with reckless abandonment by his failure to report for service till about two decades after graduation. This is an offence punishable with not less than twelve months imprisonment.”

The petitioner further stated that, by the provisions of Section 2(2)(a) of the NYSC Act, upon clocking age 30, Tunji-Ojo was no longer eligible to participate in NYSC.

He alleged that the purported certificate of national service submitted by the ministerial nominee was “suspiciously post-dated to 2023, over two years after he purportedly concluded the service,” noting that “only exemption certificates are issued to those above the age of 30.”

The petitioner affirmed, “A graduate above the age of 30 like Mr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo is not eligible to be issued a certificate of service,” and stated that it has “strong reasons to believe that the purported “certificate of service” is forged or doctored.”

The petitioner expressed confidence that his request would be treated urgently in line with the seven-day rule stipulated under Section 4 of the FOI Act.

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