Forge NYSC certificate, risk jail term — Director

Forge NYSC certificate, risk jail term — Director

Forge NYSC certificate, risk jail term — Director

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has issued a stern warning that individuals found guilty of forging its discharge or exemption certificates could face imprisonment, fines, or both as penalties.

The Director of Legal Services, Mr Ahmed Ibrahim, delivered this message during the 2023 Legal Officers’ Capacity Building Training held in Abuja.

The training centred around the theme “The Role of the Legal Officer in the Defence of the Public Service in Nigeria.” Ibrahim emphasized that all the infractions related to the NYSC Act should be well-known. “The infractions are many, like forging the NYSC certificates,” he stated.

Ibrahim further explained that some individuals who are required to participate in the youth service fail to do so, while others abandon the service before completion. These actions are in direct violation of the NYSC Act, which clearly outlines the appropriate measures to be taken in such cases.

The Director of Legal Services also highlighted instances where individuals attempt to attend orientation camps with forged documents. Once caught, they are arrested by the police and face prosecution. While there are ongoing cases related to such offences, the exact number of incidents cannot be determined at this time.

The punishment, first of all, is to arrest them. The police will now charge them to court, and it is now left for the courts to decide if it is imprisonment or fine,” Ibrahim explained. He further added that the court has the discretion to determine the length of imprisonment, ranging from two years to three years, or the option of a fine, or both.

Regarding the involvement of Corps Producing Institutions (CPIs) in these infractions, Ibrahim stated that if such institutions submit names of unqualified corps members, they are considered guilty and will be taken to court. The court, in its discretion, will determine the appropriate punishment for the institutions involved.

However, Ibrahim clarified that delisting the institutions is not the immediate action taken. The institutions are still allowed to submit the names of their intending corps members for mobilization. He expressed concern about the rising frequency of such infractions, which continue to occur on a daily basis.

The primary objective of the training, according to Ibrahim, was to ensure that members of the public have a clear understanding of the provisions of the NYSC Act. He emphasized the importance of promoting compliance and educating individuals about their rights and responsibilities.

Brig.-Gen. Yusha’u Ahmed, the Director-General of NYSC, conveyed his policy thrust of enhancing capacity building to stimulate efficiency and higher corporate performance within the scheme. Represented by Ibrahim, he stated that the training aimed to enhance the knowledge and skills of legal officers in the defence of the Public Service in Nigeria.

Ahmed acknowledged the significant contributions of the Legal Unit in providing quality legal advice to the NYSC management and effectively handling cases involving the scheme in various courts. He expressed confidence that the training would further strengthen the values of the scheme and contribute to the professional growth of legal officers.

The training program focused on enhancing the competence and practical performance of legal officers in areas such as legal drafting, litigation in civil and criminal matters, corps legal activities, and general legal advice.

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