The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), on Friday, said it had detected fake certificates alleged to be issued by its office and called on employers of labour to always verify certificates to ascertain their authenticity .
Alhaji Hudu Taura, Director, Certification, NYSC said this while addressing newsmen in Abuja.
He said that the verification measure became imperative in order to curb activities of fraudsters who issue fake certificates.
According to Taura, NYSC recently launched a new certificate which carries the passport of the corps members with some other security fixtures added to upgrade it.
He said that the organisation detected 17 fake certificates of exemption when the management of the Guaranty Trust Bank (GBT) brought some certificates of their employees to NYSC for verification.
He said the owners of those certificates were invited to come for proper verification but out of the 17 invited only seven responded.
He said out of the seven only four culprits were being presented because three of them absconded.
Taura said that they confessed to have paid certain amounts to some fake NYSC staff to get the certificate.
He said their statements had been compiled and would be passed to security agents to take the appropriate action to arraign them in court.
“We invited the owners of those certificates to come because that is what we normally do whenever we doubt any certificate; but out of the 17 invited, only seven showed up.
“We verified their certificates and took their statement, because it was discovered that they were fake; as they were not issued by us and they confessed that they got them from some other sources.
“ We are appealing to all employers of labour to bring the certificates that are said to be issued by NYSC for verification anytime they are employing to ascertain its genuiness.
“They can also bring those of their old employees working with them too. This is to help us curb the activities of fraudsters.
“ No NYSC staff was involved in the scam because the name and account number of the so-called staff was mentioned and he is not a staff.’’
Taura said that some of the paraded people went as far as paying from N40,000, N45,000 up to N50,000 to get the fake certificate of exemption.
He urged the media to also help in sensitising the public on the activities of scammers to enable NYSC fish out all those involved and also stop people from falling victims.
Speaking, some of the culprits told newsmen that they were innocent of the allegation as they were ignorantly misled by their school coordinators to pay money for certificate of exemption.
Mr Olatunde Abolorin said he paid N25,000 after his graduation for the certificate as cajoled by his course coordinator in 2010 and was called after six months for his certificate.
He said he came to NYSC office as called because he wanted to ascertain the authenticity of his certificate only to discover that it was fake.
Mr Akan Macaulay and Mr Yusuf Adekunle said they were asked to write their names if they were interested in getting certificate of exemption which they did and paid for without knowing it was fake.
They appealed to NYSC to assist them to pin down the fake NYSC official adding that they have documents carrying his name and address.