NBA sues Tinubu’s minister, Kenny Ogungbe over alleged NYSC violation

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The Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law has asked the court to remove Hannatu Musawa, the Minister of Art, Culture, and Creative Economy, from office for allegedly violating the National Youth Service Corps Act.

The organisation also sought the court to order the NYSC to cancel the certificates issued to Musawa and a music promoter, Kenny Ogungbe, claiming that the granting of the certificates violated the terms of the NYSC Act Cap N84.LFN 2024.

The plaintiffs in the suit marked FCH/ABJ/05/90/2024 are the Chairman, NBA-SPIDEL, John Aikpokpo-Martins, and Secretary, NBA-SPIDEL, Funmi Adeogun.

Musawa, Ogungbe, NYSC, and the Federal Government of Nigeria are the first to fourth defendants, respectively in the suit.

The plaintiffs alleged that the mobilisation of Musawa and Ogungbe for the mandatory one-year national youth service after exceeding 30 years of age was unlawful, illegal, and an affront to patriotism.

They also alleged that Musawa and  Ogungbe’s purported national service and the certificates of service purportedly issued by the NYSC were null and void.

The plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that, “By virtue of the provisions of Sections 2(1), 12(1), and 13(1) of the National Youth Service Corps Act, Cap. N84 LFN 2004, the 1st and 2nd defendants are not entitled to be engaged as employees by any employer of labour or services (including the Federal Government of Nigeria) without first possessing and presenting their certificates of National Youth Service.

“A declaration that the 1st defendant is not entitled to continue to hold the exalted office of Honourable Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or any public office in Nigeria after violently violating with flagrant impunity the provisions of Sections 2(1), 12(1), and 13(1) of the National Youth Service Corps Act, Cap. N84, LFN 2004.”

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria had accused Musawa in August 2023 of serving as a minister while undertaking the one-year mandatory National Youth Service Corps scheme.

Similarly, in October 2023, there was a stir on social media when Ogungbe shared a photo of himself in the NYSC uniform, announcing that he had finished NYSC at the age of 53.

Efforts to get Musawa proved abortive as calls to her number indicated it was not reachable. Response to the message sent to her was being awaited at the time of filling this report.