Produce your NYSC certificate – Tribunal orders Bayelsa Deputy Governor

Bayelsa Governorship Electoral Petition Tribunal has ordered the Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo to appear on Thursday with the original copy of a disputed certificate.

Ewhrudjakpo, formerly a Senator representing Bayelsa West, is the deputy to Governor Duoye Diri.

The Bayelsa Tribunal sitting in Abuja gave the ruling on Tuesday.

This followed a subpoena on Ewhrudjakpor to appear with the original exemption certificate issued to him by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in 1998.

The subpoena was issued on the request of Vijah Opuama, Liberation Movement (LM) governorship candidate in the November 16, 2019 poll.

The complainant is challenging Ewhrudjakpo’s qualification to stand election.

Opuama is alleging that he submitted a forged exemption certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The Deputy Governor had, by a motion filed at the Tribunal on May 17, 2020, challenged the competence of the subpoena and prayed the Tribunal to set it aside.

But on Tuesday, his counsel Chukwuma Machukwu Ume (SAN) withdrew the motion.

He said that his client was no longer challenging the subpoena and was ready to attend the Tribunal’s sitting.

Other parties, including Pius Dande Pius, lawyer to the petitioners did not object to the application.

Tribunal Chairman, Justice Ibrahim Sirajo then struck out the motion and ordered Ewhrudjakpo’s appearance.

He rejected the request that Ewhrudjakpo be allowed to appear next week.

The Deputy Governor had explained that Bayelsa does not have an airport.

This, he noted, made it difficult for him to travel to Abuja due to the lockdown.

Recalls that the Supreme Court removed David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the elected governor after ruling that his deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, forged his certificates.

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