26th May, 2022
Senator Stella Oduah has issued 48-hour ultimatum to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to retract a scandalous statement that she absconded from her youth service.
The NYSC’s Director-General Shuaibu Ibrahim, had said that Oduah did not complete the mandatory national youth service scheme and that she absconded from the youth service after the orientation camp in Lagos between 1982 and 1983.
But Oduah, in a letter issued by her media director, Ezennia Nonso Chukwudebe, described the NYSC allegation as scandalous.
The letter stated that the lawmaker’s attention had been called to NYSC’s scandalous letter in which it acknowledged that Sen. Stella Oduah was mobilized for youth service in 1982 and served in the Lagos orientation camp but concluded that she ‘absconded’ and was not issued a certificate of discharge.
The letter said Oduah considered the reckless statement as grossly irresponsible and no doubt suggested that it was procured from the NYSC 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.,” the statement said.
The letter added that for the avoidance of doubt, Sen. Oduah’s NYSC place of primary assignment was the popular Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA).
It said 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.
According to the letter, that issue also attended litigation and that Oduah had a court judgment in her favour in the case of Chinedu Emmanuel Emeka v. Princess Stella Oduah , EPT/AWK/SEN/13/2019.
The letter further said ordinarily, one needed 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 that the NYSC statement had to a large extent defamed Oduah.
The letter added: “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.”