By Onome Oghenetega
The acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Joi Numieh is again on the news as she has been accused of parading a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate alleged to be fake.
A civil society group, Transparency & Integrity Crusaders (TIC) which made the allegation, challenged the NDDC MD to publicly present her NYSC discharge certificate or exemption letter to discredit the group’s claims.
The group, however, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack her in line with the president administration’s avowed commitment to fight corruption, alleging that Numieh is not qualified to hold her present position.
A statement signed by TIC’s Executive Director, Dr. Ekpo Emmanuel Bassy said “Nigerians are aghast at the attempts by collaborators to sweep this NYSC forged certificate saga of Joi Nunieh under the carpet which has impugned on the reputation of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
It noted that the matter was being shielded from the public space due to the tacit support she enjoys from a power broker within APC-led government.
“Traditionally, all appointees of critical Government Institutions are under obligation to submit their certificates to Police Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) as well as the DSS for vetting / confirmation of their authenticity before they are allowed to commence work.
“Accordingly, when the Federal Government announced the appointment of a new Board for the NDDC in August last year, all the nominees were invited to the FIB Headquarters in Garki Abuja for vetting. All the Board Nominees (including Joi Nunieh who was then the nominee as State Rep for Rivers State) reported to the FIB office on the 5th of September 2019 and were requested to submit copies of their educational qualifications and NYSC discharge certificate.
“Joi Nunieh pleaded to be allowed to go home to bring her documents including her NYSC discharge certificate. She has failed to provide the items for vetting till date. Investigation has revealed that she has been fraudulently parading a fake / forged NYSC discharge certificate over the years and is now afraid of providing the document now for scrutiny”, the statement added.
While making reference to the case of a former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who used fake NYSC to get clearance for her position, the urged President Buhari not to waste time for the sack of the NDDC MD.
According to the group, Numieh’s sack will save the Buhari-led administration of the embarrassment the issue would cost it.
“We’re therefore calling on the President to direct the Inspector General of Police, Director General, Department of State Services, the ICPC to commence a holistic investigation and prosecute Joi Nunieh for forgery.
It, however, threatened to mobilize a nationwide protest to demand for the immediate removal of the Acting NDDC boss over the issue.
Meanwhile, efforts by this medium to get official response from the embattled Numieh as at the time of filing this report proved abortive as calls placed to her line indicated her line was switched off.