Sacked acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Joy Nunieh, did not participate in the mandatory one-year national youth service scheme.
Fresh investigations revealed that Dr. Nunieh’s omission of the mandatory NYSC cost her her job at the NDDC.
Investigations conducted by ANN revealed that after completing her mandatory one-year at the Nigerian Law School between 1989 and 1990, Dr. Nunieh failed to commence the mandatory one-year national youth service scheme even after she was mobilized for the service scheme.
The year-long service, organised by the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC), is compulsory for all Nigerians who graduate from universities or equivalent institutions at less than 30 years of age.
In addition to being a requirement for government and private-sector jobs in Nigeria, the enabling law prescribes punishment for anyone who absconds from the scheme or forges its certificates.
How Dr. Nunieh’s NYSC omission was revealed
The Honourable Minister for the Ministry of Niger Delta had requested for an official clarification on Dr. Nunieh’s participation at the NYSC.
This is in line with the State Security Service, which is charged with vetting appointees to top government positions.
The request had revealed that Dr. Nunieh was mobilized after leaving the Law school in 1989/1990 and deployed to Kwara State for her compulsory one year service.
However, Dr. Nunieh failed to join the 1990/1991 batch neither did she participate in the service scheme.
Civil society group calls for Dr. Nunieh’s removal
A civil society group, Transparency & Integrity Crusaders, had earlier called on President Buhari to direct the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), the Inspector General of Police, and the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) to commence a holistic investigation and prosecute Joi Nunieh for forgery.
The civil society has since vowed to mobilize a nationwide protest to demand the immediate removal of the Acting MD.
Why President Buhari sacked Dr. Nunieh
President Buhari had sacked Dr. Nunieh barely three months after her resumption as the acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Dr. Nunieh’s removal became necessary after the President learned of her omission of the compulsory NYSC.
In 2018, the President and his aides had come under fire after the Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun was found to have skipped the NYSC and forged a certificate. She resigned from her position and relocated to the United Kingdom.
Subsequently, the Minister of communication, Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu’s appointment was not renewed after he was found out to have skipped the NYSC.
What the law says about skipping NYSC
The NYSC constitution under the Nigerian constitution extensively enumerates the punishment to be meted out on any eligible Nigerians who skipped the service.
According to Section 13 of the NYSC law, eligible Nigerians who skip the service scheme are liable to be sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and/or N2,000 fine
Subsection three of Section 13 also prescribes a three-year jail term or option of N5,000 fine for anyone who contravenes the provision of the law.
In furtherance, the law also criminalises giving false information or illegally obtaining the agency’s certificate by prescribing a three-year jail term.