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Court orders DSS to probe new Bayelsa dep. gov. for alleged certificate forgery

An Abuja Area Court, on Wednesday, ordered the Department of State Security (DSS) to investigate the allegation of forgery of a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate leveled against the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.

Ewhrudjakpo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was until his swearing-in as the Bayelsa State deputy governor, on February 14, 2020, the senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District in the National Assembly

He was inaugurated alongside Governor Douye Diri, following February 14, 2020, judgement of the Supreme Court nullifying the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidates in the last governorship election in the state.

An APC chieftain in the state, Benjamin Youdiowei, had approached the Area Court in Lugbe, Abuja, alleging that Ewhrudjakpo presented to the INEC a forged NYSC Exemption Certificate with number 139708 and dated February 2, 1998.

Youdiowei 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 Ewhrudjakpo following his absence from the court for the day’s proceedings.

On Wednesday, Youdiowei’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 the 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 the case before taking the unilateral decision of transferring the case to the IGP monitoring unit.

The judge, therefore, 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,” the judge said.