According to a report by SaharaReporters, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), has called on Senator Stella Oduah to resign from the National Assembly if she cannot come clean from the allegation of perjury levelled against her.
The group, while it called for her immediate prosecution, asked the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, to immediately disqualify her from participating in the senatorial primary for Anambra State North District.
SaharaReporters had reported that the lawmaker representing Anambra North Senatorial zone did not complete her National Youth Service.
Following the report of SaharaReporters, CACOL, issued a statement on Thursday titled, “NYSC Certificate Scandal: CACOL Calls for Resignation and immediate Prosecution Of Stella Oduah.”
In the statement signed by Director of Administration and Programmes, Tola Oresanwo, on behalf of its Chairman, Debo Adeniran, CACOL said It was no longer news that Stella Oduah did not complete the mandatory NYSC as the leadership of the scheme had confirmed that she absconded from service.
The statement read, “In a letter by the Director-General of the NYSC which was signed on his behalf by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Eddy Megwa, the agency said Oduah commenced her NYSC programme in 1982 but absconded. The letter was in response to an inquiry by a group known as the Concerned Anambra North PDP Stakeholders.
"It was reported that in her CF001 forms submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission in 2019, Oduah claimed that she completed her NYSC but her certificate was missing along with other credentials.
"An affidavit she deposed to read in part, “Sometime in 2010 while in transit from Akili Ozizor in Ogbaru local government area to Abuja, I discovered that some of my personal belongings were missing.
“The missing documents are the originals of my West African School Certificate of 1978 from Zixon Secondary School Ozubulu, First School Leaving Certificate from St. John Odoakpu Onitsha; Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Certificate 1982 from St. Paul’s College Lawrence Virginia USA; National Youth Service Corps certificate 1983, national identity card, United States of America Social Security card with numbers in it.”
The group queried, "If she absconded from service where on earth did she see the NYSC certificate she claimed and swore on oath that is missing? Did she print the certificate by herself? Did she lie on oath? This even to a layman is known as perjury.
“What should not be encouraged, under any guise, is a reign of impunity as the country steers towards consolidation of its democratic culture. This scandal in which Mrs Stella Oduah is currently enmeshed is another major, monumental and massive disgrace not only to the hallowed chamber of the Senate where she is currently representing her constituency but to the country at large.
“It is saddening to note that it’s fast becoming a norm for public office holders and representatives of the people to parade fake credentials and with brazen arrogance and confidence still go ahead to swear on oath with bogus credentials in their possession. Although, we know that a Federal High Court had already ruled that possessing an NYSC certificate was not a condition for holding public office but what happened in a situation whereby the person lied on oath.
“We at CACOL hereby call on the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party, headed by Senator Iyorchia Ayu, to immediately disqualify Oduah who has been screened to contest in the primary from contesting."
It added, “We also want to implore our election monitoring body, INEC, to intensify the process of screening political aspirants before they are cleared to contest elections. A joint and collaborative effort of all the security agencies would have helped to nip a national embarrassment like this in the bud.”
“Our current situation as a nation demands that public officers and representatives of the people should be seen to be above board and not people who are inclined to crime.
"It is in this regard that we, therefore, call on the lawmaker representing Anambra-North senatorial district, Stella Oduah to resign with immediate effect and we are also calling on the anti-graft agencies to start her prosecution without further delay," the group stated.