The Incorporated Trustees of Center for Pursuit of Legal and Constitutional Rights has threatened to commence legal action against the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power Works and Housing, Mr. Louis Edozien, if he refused to resign his appointment over his alleged non- participation in the one year compulsory National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC) after graduation.
The threat came after the organisation had, in a letter dated November 19, 2018, asked Edozien to resign his position in the ministry for allegedly breaching Section 2(1) and 12(a) and (b) of the National Youth Service Corps Act by refusing to make himself available for national service for a continuous period of one year after his graduation from the university.
The letter, which was written by counsel to the group, Samuel Akpenpuun, said Section 2(1) of the NYSC Act provides that every Nigerian is under obligation, unless exempted under sub section 2 of the Section or Section 17 of the Act, to make himself available for service for a continuous period of one year from the date specified in the call up instrument served on him, which Edozien, according to the NGO, blatantly refused to make himself available for after his graduation.
According to the group, an inquiry at the NYSC Secretariat showed that the Perm Sec purportedly claimed he served at the Nigeria Institute of Social and Economic Research in Oyo State, but his personal NYSC file, his call up letter mobilising him to Oyo, his letter of posting to the Institute are not sighted to confirm that he ever served in the state.
The letter said that the name and particulars of the Perm Sec are not in the certificate/book of life for 1981/82 service year and added that because he never served the nation as a corps member, he doesn’t deserve a discharge certificate to make him eligible for any employment in the country by virtue of Section 12(1)(a)of the NYSC Act.
The Act states that, “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 the academic year, a certificate of national service of such a person”.
The group, which said it was registered to assist the different tiers of government and other bodies and agencies to ensure that laws are complied with, alleged that Edozien was sacked as executive director, technical services at the Niger Delta Power Holding Company in 2014.
“That despite your full knowledge of the fact that you are not eligible for any employment in Nigeria, having willfully breached Section 2(1)of the NYSC Act, you still accepted to be engaged as a permanent secretary in Nigeria, in further violent and deliberate breach of Section 12(1)and (2) of the same NYSC Act”, the NGO stated in the letter.
The Incorporated Trustees of Center for Pursuit of Legal and Constitutional Rights, which is in forefront of promoting ethical values, with the aim of promoting honesty and integrity in public service said, upon been availed of all the facts, have no option than to write to the Perm Sec to resign his position as holding such position is grossly unethical.
The organisation, the lawyer said gave Edozien one week, from the receipt of the letter to resign and also demanded that he (Edozien) refunds all salaries, allowances and other emoluments paid to him as Perm Sec to the federation account.
“Take notice that if after the expiration of the seven days graciously given to you by our client, you fail to resign as demanded, you would have left us with no other option than to formerly demand for your sack from the court of law as your appointment is in clear breach of relevant laws of Nigeria”, the lawyer stated in the letter of which the Head of Service of the Federation was copied.