Three days after the South East Zone of the Network of Evangelical Bishops of Nigeria (NEBN) accused the Enugu state branch of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of being composed of “a tiny band of buccaneers” planning to “kidnap the finances of the state”, it has described the party’s gubernatorial candidate in the March 18 election, Peter Mbah, as unfit for public office.
“Mbah is fast gaining the reputation of a forger and blackmailer”, declared the bishops in a statement in Enugu in reference to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Discharge Certificate A808297 purportedly signed on January 6, 2003.
The NYSC Director General, Brigadier General Yushau Dogara Ahmed, was on Arise Television on Friday morning to mark the organisation’s 50th anniversary and used the opportunity to refute the claim that the discharge certificate Mbah submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (NYSC) emanated from it.
The Police should arrest Mbah immediately and prosecute him for forgery, the NEBN said following the NYSC DG’s revelation.
“He is not a fit and proper person to hold public office, let alone the exalted office of the Enugu State governor”, they stated.
“The NYSC DG has corroborated the statement by the NYSC Director of Certification, Alhaji Ibrahim A. Muhammadu, on February 1, 2023, that the certificate is false and forged”, said the bishops in the statement signed by their president, Bishop Samuel Ani, and the acting secretary, Bishop Emmanuel Eneh.
Mbah had on May 15 obtained an ex parte order from Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja to stop the NYSC from testifying on the authenticity of the discharge certificate and has even announced a N20bn libel suit against the NYSC for its position that the certificate is not genuine.
“Only a pathological liar, forger, and blackmailer would have the audacity to announce to sue the NYSC for N20b for telling the truth which everyone knows”, the religious leaders observed.
“Only a person with integrity can sue for libel where he or she will prove that his reputation has been tarnished by a publication.
“A forger has no reputation to protect and, therefore, does not have the grounds to sue for libel or slander”.
The bishops continued: “The PDP candidate is merely striking postures meant to cow the public institutions and our society at large, so that he can find himself into Government House on May 29 and begin to use the state resources and apparatus brazenly to barricade himself against the long arms of the law”.
On January 13, 2020, as David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was preparing to be sworn in the next day as the Bayelsa State governor, the Supreme Court passed a judgment shattering his ambition because it was discovered that his deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremioye, had presented false documents to the INEC.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s first Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, was forced to resign on September 14, 2018, after it was reported that she presented a forged NYSC Discharge Certificate in her curriculum vitae (CV).
“Mbah can run, but can’t hide”, said the bishops who reiterated their position that “he is not the Enugu State governor-elect because he did not win.
“Hiring an almost countless number of the most paid Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) from different parts of the country with resources of the Enugu State people to intimidate the judiciary in the name of representing him at the Election Petitions tribunal can’t help him.
“The Enugu people voted overwhelmingly for the Labour Party, the party that defeated Mbah’s foremost backer, Governor Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi, in his polling booth, polling unit, and local government area when the outgoing governor sought to be voted into the Senate on February 25 on the PDP platform”.
The bishops also took a swipe at Justice Inyang Ekwo for granting Mbah the ex parte motion stopping the NYSC from testifying against the PDP candidate’s credentials and asked the National Judicial Council (NJC) to punish the judge.
“An ex parte order can be granted only in an emergency, but Nigerians are unable to see the emergency which prompted the order in this case”, they stated.
“For failing to heed the counsel by different Chief Justices in Nigeria over the years against granting frivolous injunctions, the National Judicial Council needs to remove people like Justice Inyang immediately from the Bench in the overriding national interest”.