The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice is set to arraign Senator Benson Konbowei, who represents Bayelsa Central, on charges of allegedly forging his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Certificate.
The arraignment was originally scheduled for February 12 but was postponed due to the senator’s absence in court.
The charges, marked as CR/028/2023, were filed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and include allegations of forgery of the NYSC exemption certificate among other offenses. Specifically, Senator Konbowei is accused of criminally forging a document titled ‘Certificate of Exemption’ with number 000256454 and dated July 4, 2008.
During the court proceedings at the FCT High Court in Apo division, Senator Konbowei’s counsel, Gordy Uche (SAN), informed the court that his client was medically indisposed and provided a medical report to support the claim. Uche requested an adjournment and assured the court that the senator would be present at the next proceedings.
However, the counsel to the AGF, Egwuaba Reuben, alleged that the senator was evading trial and requested the court to issue a bench warrant for his arrest. Reuben argued that the senator had written a petition against him, expressing his desire for the police to continue with the case. The judge, Justice Christopher Oba, overruled the request and accepted the medical report, but also ordered the provision of the hospital name on the document.
The judge adjourned the matter until March 26 and 28 for the arraignment and the commencement of the trial, cautioning the police that the case would be struck out if witnesses were not present.
In a separate development, there was a dispute over counsel representation, with Egwuaba and Eyinsan Lawrence both claiming to represent the prosecution. Egwuaba stated that the AGF had taken over the case and presented a fiat to represent him, while Lawrence argued that he had just been informed of the situation and requested time to investigate the fiat and the AGF’s involvement. The judge ruled in favor of Egwuaba, recognizing his appearance as the AGF is the Chief Law Officer of the country.