A Court in Abuja has ordered the Department of State Services DSS to investigate the allegation of forgery of a National Youth Service Corps’ certificate levelled against the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
Ewhrudjakpo of the People’s Democratic Party was until his swearing in as the Bayelsa State deputy governor on February 14, 2020, the senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District.
He was inaugurated alongside the state governor, Duoye Diri, following the February 14, 2020 judgment of the Supreme Court nullifying the victory of All Progressives Congress and its candidates in the last governorship election in the state.
An APC chief in Bayelsa State, Benjamin Youdowei, had approached the Area Court in Lugbe, Abuja, on the allegation that Ewhrudjakpo presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission in aid of his nomination as a candidate, a forged NYSC Exemption Certificate with number 139708 and dated February 2, 1998.
Youdowei alleged that Ewhrudjakpo had used the allegedly forged document as part of his credentials.
The judge presiding over the case, Abubakar Sadiq, had on November 27, 2019, issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the then senator following his absence from court for the day’s proceedings.
On Wednesday, Youdowei’s lawyer, Seidu Jibrin, noted that the Wuye Police Division which was earlier asked by the court to carry out further investigation on the matter had transferred the case to Inspector-General of Police Monitoring Unit.
Responding, the judge noted that the police ought to have reported back to the court if the Wuye Division was unable to handle it before taking the unilateral decision of transferring the case to the IGP Monitoring Unit.
He terminated his earlier order directing the police to investigate the case and ordered the DSS to take it up.
“We hereby terminate the order of investigation given to the police in respect of this matter and order the DSS to investigate it,” he ruled.
Meanwhile, the PDP has claimed the All Progressives Congress had been “employing many tactics” to recapture the governorship of the Bayelsa State.
The PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, told journalists in Abuja that the case against Degi-Eremienyo must be investigated by the police and other security agencies.
In a unanimous February 13 judgment disqualifying Lyon and Degi-Eremienyo delivered by a five-man panel headed by Justice Mary Peter-Odili, the Supreme Court ordered the candidates of the party with the next highest votes and the required constitutional spread of votes in the results of the governorship election to be sworn in as their replacements.
PDP’s Douye Diri and Ewhrudjakpo were declared winners of the election.