Stella Oduah issues ultimatum to NYSC to retract scandalous statement or be sued
Stella Oduah, senator representing Anambra north, has threatened to sue the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) if it does not retract the allegation that she failed to complete her youth service.
In a May 24 letter, the NYSC had claimed that Oduah did not complete the mandatory national youth service scheme.
Shuaibu Ibrahim, NYSC director-general, had said Oduah was mobilised for national service in 1982/83 and was deployed to Lagos — but absconded after the orientation.
He said: “The consequence of this is that she is not qualified for the issuance of the certificate of national service.”
In a letter signed by Ezennia Nonso Chukwudebe, Oduah’s media director, the senator described the allegation as “reckless” and “scandalous”.
“Our attention has been called to your scandalous letter referenced above in which you acknowledged that Sen. Stella Oduah was mobilized for youth service in 1982 and served in the Lagos orientation camp but then concluded that she ‘absconded’ and was not issued a certificate of discharge,” the statement reads.
“That reckless statement which we consider grossly irresponsible no doubt suggests that it was procured from you for political considerations in favour of Sen. Oduah’s political detractors. We are shocked that you condescended so low to make such false and unverified conclusions which is damaging to her character and image.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Sen. Oduah’s NYSC place of primary assignment was the popular Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA). When a similar allegation was made by her political contenders in 2017, NECA issued a letter dated 11th January 2017 Ref No: NECA/SELA/H4 confirming that she carried out her NYSC primary assignment with them. Find attached a copy of that letter for reference as well as a photograph of our client as a youth corper.
“That issue also attended litigation and she has a court judgment in her favour in the case of Chinedu Emmanuel Emeka v. Princess Stella Oduah , EPT/AWK/SEN/13/2019
“Ordinarily, one needs not be bothered about any other similar allegations in the light of the aforesaid judgment and the fact that NYSC is not a constitutional qualification to hold any public office in Nigeria, but your statement has to a large extent defamed her.
“In your exact words, ‘after the orientation course, she absconded’ It is curious how a person who had participated in all NYSC activities at the Orientation Camp can be said to have “absconded” because she left for her place of primary assignment as it was routine. It is either you chose to ignore your record or your office has failed to keep proper records.
“You are by this letter given 48 hours to retract your statement failing which legal actions shall be commenced against you