NYSC Certificate Forgery: Police begin trial of Senator Benson


The police on Tuesday arraigned a lawmaker representing Bayelsa Central Senatorial District, Konbowei Benson, before the FCT High Court of the Federal CapitalTerritory (FCT) for allegedly forging exemption certificate of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

According to the charge sheet filed in the registry of the court, Mr Benson was alleged to have used the forged certificate to secure admission into the School of Postgraduate Studies of the Imo State University, Owerri and vie for senatorial seat in the National Assembly

BAR & BENCH WATCH reports that the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, instituted the forgery suit against the lawmaker in February, this year.

In the suit marked: CR/028/2023, the IGP specifically accused the senator of forging a document titled ‘NYSC Certificate of Exemption’ with registration number 000256454 and dated 4 July 2008.

Mr Benson was scheduled for arraignment on 12 February at the FCT High Court in Abuja, but his absence, due to ill health, stalled the arraignment.

The senator’s counsel, Gordy Uche, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), told the court on that day that his client was “medically indisposed” and submitted a medical report to substantiate his claim.

“My lord, the defendant is medically indisposed and cannot be in court. He is on drip. I pray the court for an adjournment. I promise to provide him at the next proceedings,” the counsel pleaded.

But on Tuesday, March 26, Senator Benson was in court with his counsel and was accordingly arraigned.

Count one of the charge read to him says that the senator acted contrary to the provisions of sections 366,156 and 158 of the Penal Code Act CAP 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and was liable to punishment under Section 364 of the same Act.

Other counts are “That you, Benson Friday Konbowei, sometime in March 2014 within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory fraudulently used as genuine a certain document to wit: Certificate of Exemption Number 000256454 dated 4th of July 2008 signed by the Director-General, NYSC, Directorate Headquarters, Abuja to the Independent National Electoral Commission to contest election into the Bayelsa State House of Assembly in 2015 election, which you won and represented Southern Ijaw Constituency IV and the Bayelsa Central Senatorial District National Assembly election conducted on February 25, 2023, which you won and currently a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“And you also submitted four copies of the same forged NYSC certificate to gain admission into the School of Postgraduate Studies of the Imo State University, Owerri, which you then knew to be a forged document and you submitted four copies of the forged Certificate of Exemption Number 000256454 dated July 4, 2008, as a compulsory requirement to the School of Postgraduate Studies of the Imo State

Mr Benson, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges when they were read to him.

The trial judge, Justice Christopher Oba, thereafter fixed 28 March for the prosecution to open its  case against the lawmaker.

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