The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) says forgers of its discharge or exemption certificates risk jail term, option of fine or both as penalties.
The Director, Legal Services, Mr Ahmed Ibrahim, said this on Monday in Abuja during the 2023 Legal Officers’ Capacity Building Training.
The training has “The Role of the Legal Officer in the Defence of the Public Service in Nigeria” as its theme.
According to Ibrahim, the NYSC Act contains all the infractions that people should know about. “The infractions are many, like forging the NYSC certificates.
“Also, persons that are supposed to go for youth service as specified in the Act are not coming for youth service while those that are supposed to come for service will do but will not complete it and abscond.
“Therefore, the Act itself has specified what is to be done in respect to these instances.”
Ibrahim also said some attend the orientation camps with forged documents and when such persons are caught, they are arrested by the police for prosecution.
He said that though such cases abound in court, that the exact number could not be determined, adding that they were being followed up.
“The punishment, first of all is to arrest them, the police will now charge them to court and it is now left for the courts to decide if it is imprisonment or fine.
“It is at the discretion of the court to say this is what we are going to do as the term of imprisonment.
“If you are found guilty by the court, the court can give you two years jail term depending on the type of offence or three years or an option of fine or both jail term and fine.”
Regarding Corps Producing Institutions’ (CPIs) involvement in such infractions, Ibrahim said that those caught the NYSC engages in ‘lifting of veil of corporate personality’ of such institutions.
According to him, if they submit names of unqualified corps members they are also guilty and are sent to court.
He said the punishment to be meted to such institutions was also at the discretion of the court.
He, however, said that such institutions are not delisted but are allowed to still send the names of their intending their corps members for mobilisation.
He also said that it was worrisome that such infractions were coming up day by day.
On the essence of the training, he said a lot of people were committing a lot of infractions against the NYSC Act.
He said therefore, it deemed it necessary to ensure that members of the public know exactly what the Act contains and what they should do and should not do.
The Director-General, Brig.-Gen. Yusha’u Ahmed, said that enhancement of capacity building to stimulate efficiency and higher corporate performance was in line with one of the focal areas of his policy thrust to the scheme.
Ahmed, represented by Ibrahim, said the training was organised to enhance the capacity and knowledge of legal officers in the scheme on their professional roles in the defence of the Public Service in Nigeria.
He said that the training was expected to harness the potentials of the legal officers in the scheme for improved professional services.
“Over the past 50 years of existence of the scheme, our experience has shown that the decision by management to train and re-train staff of the scheme has proven to be very fruitful.
“This is especially in the training of legal officers, judging from the laudable achievements recorded so far by the Legal Unit and the professional conduct by legal officers in the scheme.
“The unit has kept faith with its mandate of rendering quality legal advice to the NYSC management and has shown due diligence in handling cases involving the scheme in different Courts of Law in Nigeria.
“To further contribute to the achievements of the legal unit, this training is an ideal platform to evaluate the activities of the unit with a view to breaking new grounds towards strengthening the values of the scheme.”