This is the reason APC gave for disqualifying Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki in its primaries for governorship in Edo State (see below). The HSC one, if true, is solid. However, the NYSC one is not that strong. Yes, the NYSC misspelling of Obaseki’s name could have been easily rectified since the University of Ibadan confirmed that he did graduate there.
Personally, I would not have expected anyone to have skipped NYSC during the time period being considered. Nigeria was at the peak and life was good. There was no need for a prior- visa to enter London. You just buy a ticket, and the airline would give you a visa. And when in London to watch Liverpool play Everton, you could decide to visit Yankees in New York. Right there, you will get a visa to the U.S. on your Nigerian passport. Jos, Plateau state, was the Cape Town of that African era. The marks remain if you have lived in Jos, with Hillcrest, Gomwalk Blvd and other domains designed for foreigners.
Nigeria sent 637 students to Tuskegee University on scholarships as it was not a big deal to study in the U.S. than it was for UNN and UI. The Naira was stronger than the dollar and the Nigerian economy was firing on all cylinders. Your village was still doing gun salutes to celebrate passing FSLC (primary education) because that guaranteed a good life. So, for someone to skip NYSC would be extremely uncommon!
Of course, crazy things happen: a guy was politically knocked down in Osun state over WAEC even though he was born into wealth. You wonder – did they not send him to school in the midst of that wealth? So, who knows if Obaseki was real on that HSC.
“Mr Godwin Obaseki: Though, His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki in his nomination form claimed to have obtained a Higher School Leaving Certificate from an Institute of Continuing Education, Benin. It was observed however that no educational certificate such as HSC is known in Nigerian educational system. Even then, the same HSC was never presented in the course of the screening exercise. The aspirant admitted that he has never collected it.
“The attestation from the Institute of Continuing Education, Benin from where the alleged HSC which was indicated in the field of attendance as obtained is of no consequence, as it only attests that Obaseki was a student of the Institute. So what we had was like an attendance. It was just attendance, it was not a result.
“Although, the Committee received a petition on his University of Ibadan Bachelor of Arts Classics certificate which he submitted to INEC in 2016 when he first contested as governor, the committee on further probing was presented with an original certificate issued by the University and the original was sighted.
“On the NYSC certificate dated 6th August 1980, the committee observed that he bears the name ‘Obasek’ Godwin. While this may be an error on the part of the issuing authority, we observed however that the aspirant has not taken any step ever to have the anomaly corrected by the issuing authority.
“In our interaction with issues raised, we concluded that HSC was defective. The NYSC certificate and the fact that the aspirant took the party to court, the above aspirant, His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki, therefore, is not eligible to participate in the election.