Nigeria

NSTIF boss in NYSC certificate forgery scandal

Dr Michael Akabogu, managing director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF)

Dr Michael Akabogu, managing director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), has been summoned by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to answer for allegations that he forged the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) Discharge Certificate that is included in his resume.

A petition filed with the police and obtained by NewsXtra alleges that the NSITF head exhibited a forgery of his NYSC Discharge Certificate bearing A030544.

In his plea, Akabogu stated that he had been conscripted for national service beginning on October 4, 1991, and ending on October 2, 1992, as required by Executive Order No. OG/ FUTO/ 91/23402.

On the other hand, the police stated that they were investigating a criminal complaint against the NSTIF Managing Director in a letter issued on December 8, 2022. They copied to the Minister of Labour and Employment.

The letter reads, “The Nigeria Police Force, Utako Division FCT, Abuja, is investigating a criminal complaint case in which your name featured prominently.

“In view of the above, it is requested that you should report to the above office on December 12, 2022, at approximately 11.00 hours in furtherance to the above complaint.

“This is a fact-finding mission, and your presence is important.”

NewsXtra was told, however, by a police source familiar with the situation that discreet inquiry was conducted after the petition against Akabogu was received.

He explained that after receiving the petition, a special team was formed to look into it and that a letter was sent to the NYSC to verify the certificate’s legitimacy. Based on their findings, he was subsequently called in for interrogation.

After further investigation, it became clear that the NYSC Certificate with Number: A030544 that the NSITF chief had been showing around was not legitimate and had never been granted by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

In a response letter to the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Divisional Police Headquarters, the Nigeria Police Force, Utako Division, FCT Command, Abuja, NYSC stated that it did not issue the certificate. The letter was given the reference number NYSC/CCD/VER/10/S.1/VOL/07.

Acting Director of Corps Certification Ibrahim A.M.’s letter to the appropriate authorities includes the following section: “your letter Re: Case of forgery involving a Corps member, Akabugu Michael C. with State Code No. OG/FUTO/91/23402.”

“Your letter Ref. No: CR:3000/FCT/UT/VOL.10/69 dated November 3, 2022, on the above subject refers, please.

“I wish to inform you that the Certificate of National Service belonging to Akabugu Michael C with Certificate number: A030544 forwarded for verification was not issued by the NYSC.

“However, you are requested to retrieve the original Certificate for onward submission to the NYSC.”

The FCT Command’s official spokesperson, Josephine Adeh, confirmed the invitation to the press by saying that the Commissioner of Police, Sunday Babaji, had ordered a covert inquiry into the complaint.

The NYSC had written a letter of protest to the Commissioner of Police, she explained, and “that was the basis of the invitation to come and explain; they said the Certificate is counterfeit.”

Despite several attempts, the NSTIF leader could not be reached for comment; his phone went unanswered, and he had yet to respond to any text messages as of publication.

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