The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has sued the National Youth Service Corps, alleging that the body failed to serve him with a call-up letter in 1979 to enable him to observe the mandatory one-year national youth service, while he was still below the age of 30.
The minister filed the suit marked FHC/IB/CS/111/2018 before the Federal High Court in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, through his lawyer, Mr Olalekan Ojo (SAN).
Joined as defendants in the suit are Director General, NYSC; the Oyo State Coordinator, NYSC; the NYSC, and the Attorney General of the Federation.
The minister is urging the court to declare that the NYSC had waived his obligation to observe the one-year compulsory service by allegedly failing to serve him with a call-up letter in 1979 after he finished from the Nigerian Law School.
The suit followed Shittu’s disqualification from the Oyo State governorship race by his party, the All Progressives Congress.
The party had screened him out of its governorship primary in Oyo State after it became known that Shittu skipped the compulsory national youth service.
But relying on Section 2(1) of the National Youth Service Corps Act, 1973, Shittu, who read Law from the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, and graduated in 1978, contended that his failure to serve should be blamed on the NYSC.
He is urging the court to declare that “the possession of the NYSC Discharge or Exemption Certificate is not one of the requirements for the appointment of the plaintiff as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or for his election as a state Governor or as a senator, pursuant to sections 147, 177 and 65 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Shittu prayed the court to perpetually restrain the NYSC and the other defendants from calling upon him to serve under the NYSC scheme “or from imposing any liability on or making the plaintiff to suffer any liability, be it civil or criminal, on account of his purported non-service under the NYSC scheme.”
He urged the court to order the NYSC to issue to him a Certificate of National Service, “having served the nation as a member of the Oyo State House of Assembly immediately after graduating from the Nigerian Law School.”
In the alternative, he wants the court to order the NYSC to issue to him an Exemption Certificate in view of his service as a lawmaker in Oyo State.