Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, has broken his silence on the controversy concerning him, insisting that he did not present a fake National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Ewhrudjakpo, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) made his defence through Clement Kekemeke, his media counsel, at a press briefing in Abuja on Sunday.
The Bayelsa State deputy governor was recently sworn-in alongside his principal, Governor Duoye Diri, after the Supreme Court sacked the elected incoming government of the All Progressives Congress (APC), following the indictment of Biobarakiuma Degi-Eremienyo, the former deputy governor-elect, over forged certificates.
However, less than two weeks after the inauguration, the state has been rocked by another forgery scandal, this time involving a sworn-in official in Ewhrudjakpo.
But the embattled deputy governor explained that the NYSC made a spelling error on his surname, adding that he wrote to the scheme to notify it of the error and asking it to correct the mistake and reissue him with a new certificate.
Speaking through his lawyer, he stated that the NYSC later corrected it and reissued him with an exemption certificate bearing his correct name.
“The position of my client is that he never forged NYSC exemption certificate.“
“A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Benjamin Youndiowei, had dragged him, the Peoples Democratic Party, and the INEC before a court, claiming that Ewhrudjakpo had issued a forged certificate to the INEC to aid his qualification as the running mate of Mr Douye Diri, who currently is the Governor of Bayelsa State,” Kekemeke said.
A court has ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to investigate the certificate.