Barrister Peter Mbah: “I was honourably discharged by the NYSC”
Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Enugu State, Barrister Peter Ndubuisi Mbah, has said he performed his one year compulsory service and was honourably discharged by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
He described as false and a campaign of calumny the report that he made a plea bargain with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), as he was not even part of the trial in question.
Making the clarifications, at the weekend, in Enugu during a phone-in radio programme, Freedom Square, Mbah said though he broke in his service due to his bar studies, he later completed it and was accordingly issued with a discharge certificate.
He said: “On the NYSC saga, I did my NYSC. I served and was honourably discharged. I have my discharge certificate. My place of primary assignment was Udeh and Co. I think the confusion was because I had a break. As an overseas graduate, when we were done with our Bar Part I, the next thing was for us to do Bar Part II, but we were just completing Bar Part 1 when the bar final students started. So, we were encouraged by the then deputy director general (DDG) of Nigerian Law School, Kole Abayomi, who was the DDG of Lagos campus where I did my Bar Part I, to go and do our youth service. So, we went to start our youth service.
“Eight months into the youth service, we were told to come back to do our Bar Final. We started the Bar Final and the honourable thing for me to do was to basically write to the NYSC to say, ‘Please, I am going to do my Bar Final and I want to break my service year’. The letter is still documented. So, I went and completed my Bar Final and went back and completed the remaining months of my service. I still have the letter of NYSC remobilising me to go and finish from where I stopped.
“So, when eventually I completed, the certificate I was given has the same date as my original set. Therefore, if you don’t have this background, you will be wondering.
“You should be in Law School this period, why should you have an NYSC certificate? But just as I said, the documents are all there and can speak for themselves. So, I did my youth service as an honourable person and all these processes were documented and my remaining months werecompleted and my certificate issued to me by the NYSC.”
On the alleged plea bargain, the PDP governorship candidate said he got involved with EFCC because of the offices he held in the state at various times in the past, chief of staff and commissioner for finance, hence he volunteered to go to the commission to make some clarifications.
Mbah said: “But, what I can assure you is that when I got originally involved with this EFCC matter, there was a letter written to the state demanding for certain officers for an interrogation or interview as they referred to it then and my name wasn’t mentioned in that letter. I volunteered to go to that interview because of the office I was holding. So, it was out of my own self-volition that I went to speak to the EFCC.
“So, to cut the long story short, I have never been convicted by the EFCC and I have never engaged in any plea bargain of whatsoever kind. What happened was that even before the trial commenced in the matter in question, my name and two other people were struck out. And it wasn’t as if I was the one that applied for my name to be struck out; it was the prosecution.
“I never attended any trial for whatever charge that was brought at the time. I was never a target of the investigation or whatever allegation or suspicion at the time. They thought, at best, I was to be used, maybe as a placeholder. These are public records.
“If, indeed, the people that are peddling these rumours and fake news are interested in knowing the truth, these documents are public records. You don’t need to make any effort to find it out. And again, when you have people in a race and they do not believe in a fair contest, to them it would appear as if the will of the people can be thwarted through a court and all they rely on is to see how that can be achieved.
“I have been a victim of several malicious attacks; people engaging in politics of lies and campaign of calumny of all sorts. I want to put the record straight, I have never, never made a plea bargain, and I challenge anyone with a shred or modicum of evidence where I did to tender it. As I said, I have never been to any trial. It was the prosecution who moved that my name be struck out. So, I was never a part of any trial or any plea bargain.”