The Governor-elect of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, has demanded N20 billion in general and exemplary damages against the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and its Director, Corps Certification, Ibrahim Muhammad.
Justice Inyang Ekwo had on Monday, upon a motion ex-parte by Mbah’s counsel, Emeka Ozoani (SAN), sequel to the lawsuit, made “An order of interim injunction restraining the Defendants and Respondents whether by themselves, their directors, officers, servants, legal representatives, counsel or any other person or persons howsoever described and connected, from issuing, publishing or continued to issue, publish disclaimer to the effect that the NYSC certificate of National Service dated 6th January, 2003, certificate No. A808297 issued to the Plaintiff Barrister Mbah Peter Ndubuisi, in accordance with Section 11 of the NYSC Decree No. 51 of 1993 was not issued by NYSC pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed in this suit”.
However, it has emerged that besides the N20 billion damages pressed, Mbah, in the writ of summons by his counsel, is equally seeking a declaration that he participated in the NYSC scheme for one calendar year vide a call-up letter number FRN/2001/800351; Lagos code LA/01/1532 and upon completion was issued certificate of National Service No. A808297.
The writ also seeks: “A declaration that the Defendants (NYSC and its Director, Corps Certification) conspired by fraudulent design, suppressed and misrepresented facts in the supposition that the Plaintiff’s certificate of National Service with number A808297 was not issued by the Defendants, a fact they knew or ought to know as untrue, incorrect, which act constitutes an act of conspiracy.
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“A declaration that the Defendants were negligent and maliciously misrepresented facts, which facts the Defendants know or ought to know as untrue and ought reasonably to have foreseen that damages would flow from such negligent misrepresentation of material facts.
“A declaration that the predominant purpose of the deceitful misrepresentation… was intended albeit to inflict damages in legal profession, politics, business, as it was to unlawfully profit the defendants.
“An order that the Plaintiff’s certificate of National Service number A808297 is authentic and was validly issued by the 1st defendant.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants either jointly/severally, their officers, servants in whatsoever manner and howsoever called from disclaiming/resiling/repudiating the certificate of National Service No. A808297 issued to the plaintiff, Barrister Peter Ndubuisi Mbah”.
Meanwhile, in the affidavit in support of the Motion on Notice deposed by Grace Udeagha, a legal practitioner, the Governor-elect’s lawyers, Emeka Ozoani (SAN) and Co., stated, among others, that Mbah, “after graduating in Law from the University of East London in 2000, returned to Nigeria and as a prerequisite to practice as a barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, applied and was admitted into the Bar Part I programme of the Nigerian Law School”.
She further deposed: “That the plaintiff upon completing the Bar Part I exam had to wait for the Bar Part II programme. He was advised that instead of idling away to proceed on the mandatory one year National Youth Service Corps Programme.
“That the plaintiff in view of the above was called up for the NYSC and was deployed to Lagos State, with the following particulars: Mbah Peter Ndubuisi; Call up letter No 01134613; reference No NYSC/FRN/2001/800351….
“The Plaintiff/Applicant by letter dated 11th March, 2002, addressed to the Director, NYSC, Lagos State, Udeh & Associates accepted the Plaintiff’s posting/service vide Lagos State NYSC code LA/01/1532, NYSC No. NYSC/FRN/O1/800351…
“That the plaintiff in the course of his NYSC programme aforesaid and after six months of NYSC, the Nigerian law School scheduled the commencement of the Bar Part II programme usually called Bar Final for which the Plaintiff was offered admission to the Nigerian Law School. By a letter dated 20th June 2002, the plaintiff applied to the State Director, NYSC, for deferment of NYSC year 2001/2002 (annexed and marked as exhibit H.
“Pursuant to paragraph 12 and by a letter dated 01/10/02 from the NYSC Directorate headquarters vide Ref: NYSC/DHQ/CM/M/27 approved the Plaintiff’s application for deferment of NYSC Ref: LA/01/1532 of 6th August 2002 (annexed and marked as exhibit I).
“That the Plaintiff by a letter of 3/04/2003 written in long hand through the State Director, Lagos State, to the Director-General, NYSC, National Directorate Headquarters, Garki Abuja, applied for re-mobilisation, having successfully completed his Bar Final exam (letter dated 24/4/2003 annexed and marked exhibit J)”.
Continuing, Udeagha further deposed that by a letter from the Director, Lagos State NYSC Ref LA/01/1532/T dated 24/4/2003, to the Director-General, National Directorate Headquarters, Area 3, Garki Abuja, the National Directorate headquarters wrote back stating, “I am directed to refer to your letter of 24th April, Reference No. LA/01/1532/T on the above subject matter and to request you to re-instate the corps member to continue his service year from where he stopped, with effect from May 2003”.
She also deposed: “That pursuant to paragraph 16, the law firm of Udeh & Associates accepted the Plaintiff and he resumed duty on 27/05/2003. The said letter of acceptance and assumption of duty in the law firm of Udeh & Associates is hereby annexed and marked as exhibit M.
“That the final letter issued to the plaintiff was dated 16th September 2003. In the said letter, the plaintiff was recommended most unreservedly as a fit and proper person to be discharged from service.
“That the plaintiff upon completion of his NYSC service, was issued the NYSC certificate No. A808297 dated 6th January, 2003, certifying that he completed the one year of NYSC from 7th January 2002 to 6th January 2003”.