The Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate in Kwara State, Razak Atunwa, appears to have admitted that he failed to present himself for the mandatory National Youth Service.

Backstory: Atunwa who was alleged to have procured a forged certificate of the National Youth Service Corps, tendered a fake document to the PDP during his nomination filings for the party in late September.

Following reports that his document was fake, Atunwa denied the claims but in a move which implies an admission of his crime, Atunwa left out the forged certificate during the submission of his nomination form to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). 

The candidate’s possession of a forged NYSC certificate, an offense Atunwa is likely guilty of, has a jail sentence of up to three years.

Atunwa has reportedly claimed that the NYSC certificate was not amongst requirements set by INEC. He is also said to have claimed that the NYSC is merely a law and not equal to the Constitution.

However, while federal laws are considered subject to the Constitution, the NYSC Act is incorporated into the Constitution itself.

Bottom Line: In spite of the allegations against Atunwa, the PDP still presented his name as the gubernatorial candidate for Kwara State without having as much as conducting investigations as to whether the allegations were true or not. That’s likely because he has the backing of the senate president Bukola Saraki who has not shown any inclination to do the right thing on the matter.

For a party aiming to get back into power after its fumblings cost it in 2015, the PDP is hardly showing that it has broken from its past. Otherwise, a fundamental issue that concerns the rule of law would be given a lot more seriousness than this.