NYSC Attempts to Dodge Court Case with Mbah over Lack of Fact, Asks Judge to Dismiss Suit Unheard; Gov. Mbah insist on Over N20bn Damages | CABLE REPORTERS

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) will now have to wait till September 22, 2023 to see if efforts by its lawyers to use technicalities, instead of convincing facts, to quash the N20 billion lawsuit instituted against it by Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State will succeed.

Whereas the NYSC is banking on technicalities, Governor Mbah, on Tuesday, told Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to dismiss the preliminary objection filed by the agency against the N20 billion lawsuit he filed against it for alleged  conspiracy, deceit, and wilful misrepresentation of facts against him over the authenticity of his discharge certificate.

Shortly after the governor made the appeal through his lawyer, A. S. Oshomegie, a Senior Advocate, Justice Ekwo fixed September 22 for ruling.

The NYSC, through its counsel, Aminu Sadauki, while moving his objection to Mbah's lawsuit, told the court that Governor Mbah should have first petitioned or appealed to the Presidency for settlement if he felt aggrieved over any actions by the NYSC regarding his certificate, rather than approaching the court straightaway. 

According to NYSC's lawyer, it is only when the Presidency is unable to resolve the matter that Mbah would have the right to approach the court. 

However, Mbah, in his objection, tasked the court to dismiss the objection on the ground that he is neither a serving Corps member nor an employee of the NYSC. 

According to him, section 20 of the NYSC Act, which NYSC's lawyer referred to does not apply to him, as Section 19 of the Act clearly showed that Section 20 applies to Corps members and NYSC staff only.

Section 20 of the NYSC Act provides: “Notwithstanding the provisions of section 19 of this Decree any person aggrieved by any decision of the Directorate or by the exercise by the Directorate of any power under this Decree shall have the right of appeal to the 'Presidency in the first instance and the Presidency may, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Decree and subject to the approval of the National Defence and Security Council, confirm or reverse the decision of the Directorate or take such further measures in relation to the appeal as he may think just before any action may be commenced in any court of law in Nigeria".

However, Section 19 provides: “The Public Officers Protection Act shall apply to every member of -the service corps and to any other person employed under any undertaking or project for the duration of his service in the service corps".

After counsels in the matter adopted and argued their written addresses, Justice Ekwo fixed the case for September 22 for ruling.

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