In recent time, the calls and wakes of the need to serve Nigeria under the one year compulsory service mandated under the enabling Act had jostle with the recent realities of sacks, resignations and disqualifications (among others) of erring Nigerians who became graduates at and/or before Thirty but failed to participate in the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) scheme at all spheres of our economy and national life.
The mandatory service is ensured by several codes and ethics that guides the program; which violations attracts penalties, ranging from extension of service year, deferment of service, termination of service year and prosecution amidst other disciplinary actions which could be taken by the designated and/or empowered officials of the Scheme.
David Adedeji Adeleke, Davido as popularly called recently put in for the mandatory NYSC program sequel to his graduation from the University before the age of thirty. Consequently, he was mobilized to the Iyana Ipaja, Lagos Orientation Camp of the Scheme and ever since then, the story HAD BEEN OF the path of a shadow.
Davido is widely acknowledged and popular both home and abroad. And he is in no small measure classified under the privileged few as Very Important Person (VIP) made before time. His background and achievements all through the time had foisted on him some irreconcilable responsibilities that makes it very difficult for him to abide by the codes of conduct and rules of the NYSC.
That said, could we conclude that the George Orwell’s view about the society by his book ‘Animal farm’ is in play? Whence, he said by several allegorical syllogism: “All animals are equal but some are more equal than the other”. In other words, it seems we are all equal before the law but some are more equal than others. The question is; is Davido above all other Corps members currently participating in the program to the extent that he cannot be sanctioned, queried and/or at least cautioned if found wanting?
In recent time, mixed reactions had trailed Davido’s failure to fully observe the rules and code of conducts attached to the one year compulsory service. Davido, 26, was one of the 2,152 Batch ‘B’ Stream II corps members sworn-in at the NYSC orientation camp at Iyana Ipaja in August, 2018. Ever since, he put in for the program, keeping to her rules and regulations had been the case of an arrow shot at a rock; for it is easier for the camel to pass through the needle’s eye than for Davido to fully cope in respect of the Rules and regulations guiding the program.
Hence, since Davido joined the Scheme, the Following are the NYSC Rules of engagement broken by him in recent time:
1. Davido brought into the Orientation camp a chauffeur Driven White exotic car and drove amidst fanfares among other corps members and obviously protected by security guides.
2. Davido left the Orientation camp and never participated in the activities of NYSC at the camp.
3. Earlier this year, the Pop star jetted out of the country some days during the orientation camp to Boston in United States ahead of his ‘Locked Up’ Concert. Afterward, he performed at the opening day of Jay-Z’s Made in America Festival in Philadelphia, United States. We were not told if he returned to the camp thereafter.
4. Davido Primary Place of Assignment is unknown.
5. We are not sure if Davido ever reported promptly to his Primary place of Assignment or participates in activities of secondary place of assignment.
6. Davido had been engaged in his private practice as a musician.
7. Davido fully participated in politics of Osun State, psrticularly, the just concluded gubernatorial election.
It will interest you that all the above supposed offences by Davido carries both light and heavy penalties if some of the offences considered as reconcilable are not met with the attached condition precedents.
By my findings, the ‘IF’ crooner, pop superstar and Chioma ‘death sentenced’ lover may just have broken Section 3(I)(15) of the NYSC Bye-Laws (18/19), Section 3(III)(2, 3, 5 6, 7,12, 14)) of the NYSC Bye-Laws (18/19), Section 4(9) of the NYSC Bye-Laws (18/19) among others. The Bye laws are issued annually since 1993.
For ease of reference, I hereunder reproduce the contents of the above cited sections of the Bye Laws which Davido have and/or might have broken as follows:
Section 3(I)(15) of the Bye laws provides as follows:
During the Period of orientation, every member shall not bring vehicles or motorcycles into the orientation camp.
• Any member who brings vehicles or motorcycles to camp shall not be registered, and if already registered, shall be decamped
• ii) Such member shall only be allowed to return to service to join the next batch in the orientation camp.
Section 3(III)(2, 3, 5 6, 7,12, 14) of the NYSC Bye-Laws (1993) Provides as follows:
During the Period of Primary Assignment, every member shall:
• 2. Not be late to report at duty station
Any member who reports late at duty station shall be tried by the Corps Disciplinary Committee and if found guilty, be liable to extension of service on half pay double the period he is late to station. Any member who reports late at duty station shall be tried by the Corps Disciplinary Committee and if found guilty, be liable to extension of service on half pay double the period he is late to station
• 3. Not fail to report to duty punctually.
o Any member who reports late for duty shall be queried by his employer and the report sent to the State Coordinator for disciplinary action
• 5. Not fail to carry out duties diligently
Any member who fails to carry out his duties diligently shall be queried by his employer and the report sent to the State Coordinator for disciplinary action.
• 6. leave his duty station or absent himself from any official activity without the written consent of the State Coordinator.
Any member who leaves his duty station or absents himself from any official activity without the permission of the State Coordinator shall be tried by the Corps Disciplinary Committee and, if found guilty, be liable to extension of service with half pay double the period of absence.
• 7. Not travel outside the State without written permission of the State Coordinator
Any member who travels outside the State without the written permission of the State Coordinator shall be tried by the Corps Disciplinary Committee and, if found guilty, be liable to forfeiture of allowance for the number of days absent and extension of service with half pay double the period of absence
• 12. Not engage in private practice
Any member who engages in private practice shall be tried by the Corps Disciplinary Committee and, if found guilty, be liable on conviction to extension of service for a period not less than twenty one (21) days without pay
• 14. Not travel outside Nigeria without the written permission of the Director-General
Any member who travels outside Nigeria without the written permission of the Director-General shall be tried by the Corps Disciplinary Committee and, if found guilty, be liable to extension of service without pay double the period of absence
Section 4(9) of the NYSC Bye-Laws (1993) Provides as follows:
Every member shall Not take part in partisan politics.
• Any member who takes part in partisan politics is liable to extension of service for a period not less than three (3) months without pay.
From the above cited provisions of the NYSC bye-Laws, it is of common knowledge that Davido has breached almost all parts of the enabling laws and Rules that guides the Scheme, Hence:
1. Davido brought in Vehicle into the NYSC orientation camp
2. Davido left the NYSC orientation camp.
3. Davido Travelled outside Nigeria
4. Davido engaged in his private business as a musician
5. Davido Participated in politics and fully campaigned for his uncle, Ademola Adeleke in Osun State gubernatorial Election.
6. All those period of campaigns and traveling, Davido must have been absent from his Primary Place of Assignment.
7. No one seems to know where Davido is teaching or where his PPA is located
The big question is, if Davido is taking permission for all his engagements, how much permission can he take during his continuous participation in the schemes? By section 6(2) of the enabling law, Davido cannot get more than 14 days leave of absence during the entire program.
Davido went too far when he started to flamboyantly wear PDP dresses and campaign from town to town for his uncle, Ademola Adeleke, despite being a corps member in active service.
Despite all the breaches, ther is no record that Davido had been queried, sanctioned, brought before a court, suspended and or cautioned in any way by the authorities of the National Youths Service Corps.
Could it be that Davido is above the law or above all other corps members? The Lagos State NYSC coordinator and the Director General of the Program owes Nigerians some explanations.
Richarmond O. Natha-Alade is a legal Practitioner and Principal Partner at
Sun Natha-Alade & Partners (SNATHAP)