President Muhammadu Buhari has sacked Michael Akabogu, Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).
Akabogu was sacked in connection to his alleged forgery of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) Discharge Certificate, according to sources familiar with the matter.
His sack was conveyed in an internal memo signed by the Executive Director of Operations of the agency, Gabriel Iwelunmor.
“I am directed to inform you that Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari in the exercise of his powers under Section 8 of the NSITF Act has directed the removal from office of Dr. Michael Akabogu as the Managing Director/CE of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) with effect from Friday, 3rd February 2023,” the memo reads.
“Subsequently, the Executive Director Administration of the Fund – Barr. (Mrs.) Maureen Allagoa has been directed to take charge of the affairs of the Fund.
“Furthermore, this information should be communicated to the staff of your various Departments/Units, Regions and Branches,”
A whistleblower had in 2022 petitioned the police, alleging that the sacked NSITF boss was parading a fake NYSC Discharge Certificate with Number: A030544.
The police subsequently invited Akabogu for questioning after the authority of NYSC denied issuing the fake NYSC discharge certificate.
He had claimed he was mobilised for the compulsory one-year Service, vide NO. OG/ FUTO/ 91/23402 for the first Batch from the 4th of October 1991 to the 3rd of October, 1992.
Investigation revealed that Akabogu’s discharge NYSC certificate bearing number A030544 was allegedly forged and the first batch of 1991 corps members were mobilised on the 16th of September, 1991 and discharged/passed out on 15th of September 1992 as against the claims of Akabogu that he was mobilised for the first batch from 4th, October, 1991 to 3rd October 1992.
The Police, had meanwhile, in an invitation letter issued on December 8, 2022 and copied the Minister of Labour and Employment, said it was investigating a case of criminal complaint against Akabogu.
The letter read, “The Nigeria Police Force, Utako Division FCT, Abuja is investigating a case of criminal complaint in which your name featured prominently.
“In view of above, it is requested that you should report to the above office on 12th December, 2022, at approximately 11.00hours in furtherance to the above complaint.
“This is a fact finding mission and your presence is important.”
A Police source, who is privy to the matter, confided in our correspondent that a discreet investigation was carried out upon the receipt of the petition against Akabogu.
He said, “when the petition was submitted, a crack team was raised to investigate the matter and subsequently a letter was written to the NYSC to confirm the authenticity of the Certificate. So he was invited for questioning on the strength of our findings.”
Furthers details indicated that the NYSC Certificate with Number: A030544 allegedly paraded by the NSITF boss was not issued by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
NYSC in a letter of response with reference number: NYSC/CCD/VER/10/S.1/VOL/07 and addressed to the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Divisional Police Headquarters, the Nigeria Police Force, Utako Division, FCT Command, Abuja, said it did not issue the Certificate.
The letter signed by the Acting Director, Corps Certification, Ibrahim A.M, reads in part, “your letter Re: Case of forgery involving a Corps member, Akabugu Michael C. with State Code No. OG/FUTO/91/23402
“Your letter Ref. No: CR:3000/FCT/UT/VOL.10/69 dated 3rd November, 2022 on the above subject refers, please.
“I wish to inform you that the Certificate of National Service belonging to Akabugu Michael C with Certificate number: A030544 forwarded for verification was not issued by the NYSC.
“However, you are requested to retrieve the original Certificate for onward submission to the NYSC.”
Confirming the Police invitation, the spokesperson of the FCT Command, Josephine Adeh, said the Commissioner of Police, Sunday Babaji, ordered a discreet investigation on the complaint.
She said, “we invited him, there was a letter of complaint to the Commissioner of Police by the NYSC, so you know when they write such letters, the Police has to investigate, that was the essence of the invitation to come and explain, they said the Certificate is forged.”