Scratch Card: Advocacy Group Sues NYSC over Mobilisation Fee

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The Citizens Advocacy Initiative For Accountable Leadership (CAIFAL) on Thursday filed a suit at a Federal High Court in Lagos against the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) over alleged mobilisation fraud.

Also joined as respondents in the suit are: The Director General of NYSC, Sidmach Technologies Limited, Minister for Youths and Sports, and the Attorney General of the Federation.

CAIFAL in its suit number FHC/L/CS/840/16, is seeking a declaration that by virtue of the provisions of the NYSC Act 1993, the first to third respondents, have no statutory rights, to demand a pre-mobilisation fee from prospective corps members.

In a supporting affidavit deposed to by one Mr. Mike Ogie, the group averred that sometime in 2014, the NYSC introduced an electronic registration programme where prospective corps members were required to register online with the sum of N3,000 as precedents for mobilisation.

He stated that the NYSC entered into a memorandum of understanding with a company, Sidmach Technologies, to collect the fees on behalf of the NYSC, through the issuance of scratch cards to prospective corps members.
According to him, under the memorandum, 70 per cent of the monies collected, would be ceded to the company (Sidmachy), while the balance of 30 per cent was reserved for the NYSC.

He averred that the company had since 2014 collected over N1.3 billion on behalf of the NYSC, without remitting any of its proceeds to the scheme or Federation Account.
He stated that the applicant had petitioned the office of the Minister of Youths and Sports, but that the perpetration of the act has not been “called in.”

He further averred that the first, second and third respondents went into the aforesaid memorandum of understanding without recourse to the relevant sections of the NYSC Act and the 1999 Constitution.

The group further averred that the acts of the first to third respondents, contradicts the true intent of the NYSC Act, which makes it mandatory for prospective corps members to be compulsorily mobilised for service of their fatherland.
They aver that the Act establishing the NYSC scheme, does not provide for the payment of any fee, as condition precedent for mobilisation, corps members.

The group is therefore, seeking a declaration, that both the previous collection, and continued collection of the monies from prospective corps members, is illegal, wrongful and most improper.
They seeks an order, directing the first and second respondents to immediately render account of all monies so far realised from corps members since the inception of its collection in 2014.

The group isseeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the NYSC from further collecting any money from prospective corps members, as a pre-mobilisation or re-deployment fee.
Besides, the group is also seeking an order, directing the first and second respondents to release or make public, the memorandum of understanding executed between them and the company.
No date has yet been fixed for hearing.