Tinubu’s Ministerial Nominee, Tunji-Ojo Enmeshed In NYSC Certificate Scandal, Claims He Finished Service While Serving As Federal Lawmaker


President Bola Tinubu’s ministerial nominee and serving House of Representatives member, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo is currently enmeshed in a scandal surrounding his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme certificate, SaharaReporters has gathered.


Ojo claimed he graduated from the University of North London (now London Metropolitan University) where he studied Electronics and Communication Engineering and graduated in 2005 at the age of 24.


The NYSC Act makes it compulsory for all Nigerians who earn degrees or higher national diplomas from tertiary institutions in Nigeria and abroad (effective 1972/73 session) to participate in the scheme.


The only exemption graduates exempted, according to the Act, are those who graduated after the age of 30, persons with national honours and individuals who serve in the military and intelligence organisations.


However, in the documents presented to the Senate for his confirmation, Tunji-Ojo claimed he was mobilised for the compulsory one-year national service from November 28, 2019, to November 27, 2020, a few months after he was elected a federal lawmaker.


The former Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was first elected in 2019.


He is currently representing Akoko North Federal Constituency in the lower chamber of the National Assembly.


The copy of the NYSC certificate with number FC/FRN/2019/724075, was issued on February 28, 2023.


Section 12 of the NYSC Act mandates all employers to demand the national service certificate of prospective employees before hiring.


Section 12 of the Act reads, “For the purposes of employment anywhere in the Federation and before employment, it shall be the duty of every prospective employer to demand and obtain from any person who claims to have obtained his first degree at the end of the academic year 1973-74 or, as the case may be, at the end of any subsequent academic year the following:-


a. a copy of the Certificate of National Service of such person issued pursuant to section 11 of this Decree


“b. a copy of any exemption certificate issued to such person pursuant to section 17 of this Decree


“c. such other particulars relevant there to as may be prescribed by or under this Decree.”


Section 13 of the Act also criminalises skipping the national service as it prescribes 12 months imprisonment or fine of N2,000 or both, for such offenders.”


Meanwhile, an Ondo State-based group operating under the aegis of Concerned Ondo Patriots has petitioned the Senate, asking it not to confirm Tunji-Ojo as minister for allegedly forging his certificate


The group in a statement accused the lawmaker of perjury and lying on oath to have served even when he was already a member of the House of Representatives.


It insisted that his confirmation would cast a credibility crisis on the cabinet of President Tinubu in the obvious forgery and perjury.


According to the petition signed by Bamidele Okere and Musiliu Babatunde, the nominee forged the NYSC certificate he presented.


The group added that Tunji-Ojo who was first elected into the House of Representatives in June 2019 couldn’t have served while in the lower chamber of the National Assembly.


It lamented that it was wrong for the Senate in its tradition to have asked the nominee from the state to take a bow, when his NYSC certificate showed that it was signed on February 28, 2023.


“The NYSC certificate tendered by Hon. Ojo also has his picture, with date of birth of 01/May/1982. It should be noted that Hon. Ojo claimed to have graduated from a London University in 2006 at age 25,” it said.


“The Concerned Ondo Patriots therefore called on the Senate not to clear the nominee.”


The group urged the Senate to be mindful that it will “ridicule the respect and sanctity of the Senate if it goes ahead to clear the nominee from Ondo State.”


Earlier, another group, Ondo State chapter of the Niger Delta Emancipation and Justice, Forum accused Tunji-Ojo of diverting NDDC projects and employment opportunities meant for oil-producing communities in the state to non-oil-producing communities of the state.


It noted that the law establishing NDDC states: “In exercising its functions and powers, the commission shall have regard to the varied and specific contributions of each member state of the Commission.”


Specifically, the establishing law of the NDDC provides that the production quantum of each member state will account for the projects and employments that will accrue to the state, and bearing such provision in mind, the Governing Board of the NDDC maintained a specific sharing formula.


According to the formula, for Inter State: regional projects (including project administration cost takes 25%; income capacity enhancement takes 5%; equality of states 25%; volume of oil according to states 35%; Opex/Capex 10%, making a total of 100%.


While for intra-state revenue sharing: equality among local government areas takes 20%; Oil Exploration Zone (producing and non-producing) is 10%; Pipeline Communities 10%; Area of volume of oil production is 60%, making a total of 100%.


The group said in Ondo State, only two local government areas – Ilaje and Ese-Odo are under NDDC areas and are qualified for NDDC projects and employment benefits.


The group said that NDDC had maintained the approved sharing formula since its inception but as soon as Tunji-Ojo who represents Akoko North East/Akoko North-West Federal Constituency became the Chairman of the House Committee on the NDDC in 2019, “he began to hatch the plot on how he would maximize the benefits from the NDDC to his people in Akoko North East/West to the detriment, pain and anguish of the Niger Delta area of the State.


“The first thing he did was to collude with the Interim Management Committee (illegally put in place by the Buhari Administration) to appropriate all the projects meant for Ondo State, especially, the Niger Delta Area to Akoko.


“In the 2021 NDDC Projects, rather than following the laid down procedure in the NDDC in the distribution of projects, Hon. Bunmi Ojo went berserk and without a modicum of conscience adorned Akoko North East/West with NDDC projects. He ensured that virtually all the projects in the area were fully funded.


“It is instructive to note that out of the 66 projects awarded in the NDDC for Ondo State, Hon. Olubunmi Ojo ensured that over 16 choice projects were taken to the four local governments in Akoko.


“For Tunji Ojo to conceal his evil deeds against the Niger Delta Area, he categorized some of the projects into LOTS,” the group said in a statement signed by Barrister Eniola Ayenuberu, in Abuja.




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