How Ex-Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah Absconded From National Youth Service Corps, NYSC Scheme, Lied That She Completed Programme

The National Youth Service Corps has disclosed that the senator representing Anambra North, Stella Oduah, did not complete the mandatory one-year NYSC programme.

This was disclosed in a letter, marked NYSC/DHQ/PPRU/783/Vol III, obtained by The PUNCH.

The letter was in response to an inquiry made by a group known as the Concerned Anambra North PDP Stakeholders.

The group had written to the NYSC, alleging that some officials of the agency colluded with Oduah to bury the truth.

The NYSC, however, responded through a letter by the Director-General of the programme, which was signed on his behalf by the Director of Press and Public Relations. The agency said Oduah commenced her NYSC programme in 1982 but absconded.

The NYSC denied colluding with the former Minister of Aviation to hide the truth.

The letter reads in part: “In response to your request, we wish to state that the facts of the matter remain as follows: Stella Adaeze Oduah was mobilised for national service in 1982/1983 service year and deployed to Lagos State.

“After the orientation course, she absconded and never completed the national service. The consequence of this is that she is not qualified for the issuance of the certificate of national service.

“Section 2 (1) of the NYSC Act makes it obligatory for every Nigerian who graduates to ‘make himself available for service for a continuous period of one year from the date specified in the call-up instrument served upon him.’”

According to the NYSC Act, the four categories of individuals exempted from the national service are those who graduated above the age of 30, those who have served in the Armed Forces or the Nigeria Police for a period of more than nine months; those who served in intelligence organisations and individuals who bagged national honours before graduation.

It remains unclear how Oduah’s failure to complete her NYSC escaped the scrutiny of agencies like the Department of State Services (DSS), which usually investigates ministerial nominees.

In her CF001 forms submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 2019, Oduah claimed that she completed her NYSC but her certificate was missing along with other credentials.

An affidavit she deposed read in part, “Sometime in 2010 while in transit from Akili Ozizor in Ogbaru local government area to Abuja, I discovered that some of my personal belongings were missing.

 “The missing documents are the originals of my West African School Certificate of 1978 from Zixon Secondary School Ozubulu, First School Leaving Certificate from St. John Odoakpu Onitsha; Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Certificate 1982 from St. Paul’s College Lawrence Virginia USA; National Youth Service Corps certificate 1983, national identity card, United States of America Social Security card with numbers in it.”

Stella Oduah is not new to controversies; she was sacked as Minister of Aviation on February 12, 2014.

SaharaReporters had exclusively exposed how shipping and merchant vessel documents showed that Oduah purchased and registered an oil tanker a few months before she was sacked by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Mrs. Oduah was sacked by Mr. Jonathan following a series of reports done by SaharaReporters connecting her to a massive BMW vehicle scandal. Later, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) discovered that N2.5 billion was put in a bank account under the name of Mrs. Oduah’s home help. 

Sahara Reporters