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EXCLUSIVE: Kwara Governorship Candidate In Certificate Scandal

The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Kwara State in the
forthcoming general elections, Razak Atunwa, did nota participate in Nigeria’s compulsory national youth service scheme.

A recent investigation carried out by Premium Times, it was revealed that instead of going for his NYSC, he procured a forged discharge certificate of the National Youth
Service Corps (NYSC) which he submitted to the PDPt o prove his eligibility for public office.

The fresh revelation about Mr Atunwa came about four months after PREMIUM TIMES exposed thenf inance minister, Kemi Adeosun, for engaging ins imilar conduct, and just a little over a month sincet he embattled official was forced to resign as a resulto f the scandal.

The Kwara politician’s conduct also came to light
exactly a month after this medium reported that the
Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, also
dodged the compulsory service, making him ineligible
for public office and employment in Nigeria.
Although the minister was later disqualified by his
party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) from
running for governorship of his native Oyo State,
President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to remove him
from office.

The NYSC law requires every Nigerian who attended
university or polytechnic to participate in the national
youth scheme for one year after graduation, provided
the person finished before age 30. Failure to serve
would prohibit such individual from gainful
employment in Nigeria, and making false claims about
serving could attract up to 14 years in jail.

Also, anyone who graduated before 30 but
deliberately declined to serve has committed a crime
that could attract 12-month imprisonment, even if the
person did not forge NYSC documents.

Only a person who obtained a degree after 30 or
served in the military or won national honours medal
would qualify for exemption certificate under the
NYSC law.

Mr Atunwa, born on October 17, 1969, said he studied
law at the University of East London, graduating in
1992 at age 23.

Having earned a bachelor’s degree at 23, Mr Atunwa,
going by Section 2 of the NYSC Act, should have
participated in the year-long national service.

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