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Mbah vs NYSC: Judge absent, case adjourned to May 31 for hearing

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The absence of Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja, on Monday, stalled the hearing of a suit filed by the Enugu State Governor-elect, Dr. Peter Mbah, against the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Justice Ekwo was said to be on an official assignment.


Mbah had sued the NYSC and its Director, Corps Certification, Mr Ibrahim Muhammad, for publishing a disclaimer on the issuance of a discharge certificate issued to him on January 6, 2003.



Justice Ekwo had, on May 15, restrained the NYSC, Muhammad and any of their agents from, henceforth, engaging in such publication pending the hearing and determination of the substantive matter.


The order followed an ex parte motion moved by Mbah’s counsel, Mr Emeka Ozoani, SAN.


The judge, however, did not grant prayer two of the motion on the ground that it was said to be far reaching.


He said that the second prayer was an issue to be adjudicated upon in the substantive suit.


Instead, Ekwo ordered that the defendants be put on notice


The judge, who directed the plaintiff to serve the defendants with court processes within two days of the order, fixed today for hearing.


But the court did not sit on Monday and the matter, which was number 14 on the list, was adjourned until May 31 for hearing of the motion on notice.


Ozoani had brought the motion under Section 13(1) & (2) of the FHC Act Cap F12, Vol. 6, Law of Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and Order 26 Rule 6(1) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019.


The motion ex parte was predicated on 10 grounds.


Mbah averred that after graduating in Law from the University of East London in 2000, he returned to Nigeria and as a prerequisite to practice as barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, applied and was admitted into the Bar part 1 programme of the Nigerian Law School


Mbah said upon completing the bar part I exam, he had to wait for the bar part 2 programme, and was advised that instead of spending time idling around, he should proceed to the mandatory one year NYSC programme.


He said he was called up for NYSC and was deployed initially to Nigerian Ports Authority, Apapa, for his primary assignment but was rejected by NPA, before securing a role at the law firm of Ude & Associates.


“The plaintiff in the course of his service year and after six months of NYSC, applied and was granted approval to defer the NYSC in order to enable him complete the bar final exam.


“Thereafter, the plaintiff was remobilised to finish the NYSC programme, which he did complete.”


Mbah further averred that upon completion of the NYSC, he was issued the certificate of National Service No. A.808297 dated January 6 2003.


The NYSC had, on February 1, written a letter signed by Mr Ibrahim Muhammed saying that the certificate belonging to Mbah was not issued by the corps.


Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was declared the winner of the Enugu State governorship election held in March 18 by the Independent National Electoral Commission.







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