Stella Oduah in NYSC certificate scandal
The former Minister of Aviation and Senator representing Anambra North, Stella Oduah, has dismissed a letter released by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), stating that she absconded from service and did not complete the one-year programme.
Oduah claimed to have served at the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association and even proceeded to work in the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for nine years.
The youth service had in a response to a request by the Concerned Anambra North Peoples Democratic Party Stakeholders said Oduah did not have a valid NYSC certificate.
The PDP group had asked the service to verify if Oduah, who claimed her certificate got missing in transit, actually served, adding that she had used the same excuse “to scale through ministerial and senate screening formalities.”
In his response, the Director General of the NYSC said though Oduah was mobilised for the national service in 1982/83 and deployed to Lagos State, she absconded after the orientation and never completed the service.
“The consequence of this is that she is not qualified for the issuance of the certificate of national service,” the Director General wrote in the letter dated 24th May, 2022 and signed on his behalf by Eddy Megwa.
In 2014, Oduah reportedly deposed to an affidavit and obtained a police extract where she stated that she sometime in 2010 while in transit from Akili in Ogboru Local Government Area to Abuja, she discovered that some of her personal belongings were missing.
Commenting on the NYSC response, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and human rights lawyer, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, called for the recall and prosecution of the Senator for perjury, adding that she should be made to refund all the salaries and allowances she collected as a minister and senator.
But in a statement by her media aide, Ezennia Nonso Chukwudebe, Oduah said she served “meritoriously” at NECA in 1982 and worked at the NNPC for nine years thereafter.
A picture of Oduah in an NYSC uniform was also shared alongside the statement.
The statement reads in part “Our attention has just been drawn to a publication that makes a most spurious claim to the effect that the distinguished Senator representing Anambra North, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah OON, absconded from the National Youth Service Corps programme. Ordinarily we would never dignify such antics with a response but we deemed it necessary to put out this statement for the benefit of gullible minds that are being targeted by political jobbers whose stock in trade is churning out such concocted rubbish every election cycle, especially when it is becoming glaring that they are receiving the short end of the political stick.
“The Distinguished Senator indeed served meritoriously at NECA in 1982 as can be confirmed from this 11th January, 2017 clarification from the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association personally signed by the Director General, O.A Oshinowo.
“How her opponents have suddenly resorted to circulating this story which is completely at variance with the position of the agency where she did her primary assignment is an issue every keen mind should focus on and we are by this publication, giving the NYSC sometime to put out a disclaimer as we firmly believe this letter to be fake.
“Senator Stella Oduah did not only serve meritoriously but would go on to work in the NNPC, a Federal Government establishment, for the next nine years!”