Nigerian Serving Senator Arraigned For NYSC Certificate Forgery

by Ohepo Ohepo

Konbowei Benson, the senator for the Bayelsa Central Senatorial District, was charged on Tuesday with fabricating a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate at the FCT High Court in Abuja.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member Mr. Benson was charged with three counts of violating the Penal Code Act, forging the NYSC exemption certificate, and submitting the faked document to gain admission to the Imo State University, Owerri, School of Postgraduate Studies.

The legislator was sued for forgery in February by Kayode Egbetokun, the Inspector General of Police.

The IGP explicitly charged the senator of falsifying a document named “Certificate of Exemption” with number 000256454 and dated 4 July 2008 in the lawsuit designated CR/028/2023.

After being charged, Mr. Benson was scheduled to be arraigned before the FCT High Court in Abuja on February 12; however, the arraignment was postponed due to his unwell condition.

On that day, the senator’s attorney, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Gordy Uche, informed the court that his client was “medically indisposed” and provided a medical report to support his assertion.

“My lord, the defendant is unable to appear in court due to a medical condition. He’s got a drip going on. I beseech the court to postpone. “I swear to bring him along for the next hearing,” the attorney begged.


Mr. Benson was present, along with his attorney, during the Tuesday’s resumed proceeding.

Sections 366, 156, and 158 of the Penal Code Act, CAP 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990, were allegedly broken by the senator, and as a result, he was charged with a felony under Section 364 of the same Act.

The other charges are: “That sometime in March 2014, within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, you, Benson Friday Konbowei, 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, which you won and represented Southern Ijaw Constituency IV; and the Bayelsa Central Senatorial District National Assembly election held on February 25, 2023, which you won and are currently a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“And you also turned in four copies of the same fake NYSC certificate—which you later realised was a fake document—to be accepted into the Imo State University’s School of Postgraduate Studies in Owerri. Additionally, you turned in four copies of the fake Certificate of Exemption Number 000256454 dated July 4, 2008, which the Imo State University required.

University of Owerri, which is a prerequisite for enrollment in the postgraduate studies programme.

But after the accusations were read to Mr. Benson, he entered a not guilty plea to each and every one of them.

The case was postponed until March 28th by trial judge Christopher Oba in order to start the trial.

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