Razak Atunwa, who is the governorship candidate of PDP in Kwara State, did not participate in Nigeria’s compulsory National Youth Service Scheme, NYSC, Premium Times reports.
He was alleged to have procured a forged discharge certificate of NYSC which he submitted to the PDP to prove his eligibility for public office.
Atunwa, born on October 17, 1969, said he studied law at the University of East London, graduating in 1992 at age 23.
Having earned a bachelor’s degree at 23, Atunwa, going by Section 2 of the NYSC Act, should have participated in the year-long national service.
But rather than present himself for national service, he stayed back in the United Kingdom, returning only in 2005 to join the cabinet of then Governor Bukola Saraki in Kwara State at the age of 36.
Between 2005 and 2010 when he stepped down to run for office, the politician was commissioner at four different ministries, including Land and Housing, Works and Transport, Information and Home Affairs and Finance.
In 2011 he became speaker of the state’s house of assembly and 2015 he became a member of the House of Representatives.
To secure the PDP governorship ticket on October 1, he submitted a counterfeit NYSC discharge certificate and accompanied it with an affidavit, indicating he lied on oath, an offence that attracts up to 14 years in jail.
Atunwa indicated that he partook in the youth service scheme between 1995 and 1996. For one, his ‘certificate’ purportedly obtained in 1996 carried the signature of Walter Oki.
But Mr Oki was only made NYSC director-general in 2002. In 1996, Soyemi Sofoluwe was director-general of the corps and signed all discharge and exemption certificates during the period. .
He was succeeded by S.M. Dule (brigadier general), who served as director-general between 1996 and 2000.