The Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law has initiated legal action, urging the court to remove the Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, from office for an alleged violation of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Act.
The organization is also seeking a court order to compel the NYSC to invalidate the certificates issued to Musawa and music promoter Kenny Ogungbe, claiming that the issuance was contrary to the provisions of the NYSC Act Cap N84.LFN 2024.
The plaintiffs in the suit, marked FCH/ABJ/05/90/2024, are the Chairman of NBA-SPIDEL, John Aikpokpo-Martins, and the Secretary of NBA-SPIDEL, Funmi Adeogun. The defendants in the suit are Musawa, Ogungbe, NYSC, and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The lawsuit alleges that the mobilization of Musawa and Ogungbe for the mandatory one-year national youth service after exceeding 30 years of age was unlawful, illegal, and a challenge to patriotism. The plaintiffs further claim that the national service and certificates of service issued by the NYSC to Musawa and Ogungbe are null and void.
The plaintiffs seek a declaration that, “By virtue of the provisions of Sections 2(1), 12(1), and 13(1) of the National Youth Service Corps Act, Cap. N84 LFN 2004, the 1st and 2nd defendants are not entitled to be engaged as employees by any employer of labor or services (including the Federal Government of Nigeria) without first possessing and presenting their certificates of National Youth Service.”
The PUNCH previously reported in August 2023 that the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria accused Musawa of serving as a minister while undertaking the one-year mandatory National Youth Service Corps scheme. In October 2023, there was a social media stir when Ogungbe shared a photo of himself in the NYSC uniform, announcing that he had completed NYSC at the age of 53.
Efforts to reach Musawa were unsuccessful, as calls to her number indicated it was not reachable, and there was no response to the message sent to her at the time of filing this report.