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Just in: Finance Minister, Adeosun resigns over mounting pressure on fake NYSC cert
…Lawyers seek immediate trial to demonstrate Buhari’s stand on corruption
Strong indications emerged Friday afternoon that the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has resigned as a member of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Whereas efforts to get confirmation from the presidency failed, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja gathered from a competent source that her resignation was fallout of mounting pressure from Nigerians over delays in concluding investigations on her alleged forgery of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Exemption Certificate.
Several legal experts who barred their minds via telephone interviews called for instant criminal trial, saying such move will further demonstrate the apparent strong stand of Buhari administration against corruption after all.
Besides, an unconfirmed source confided in Business Hilights Abuja Bureau chief that “It has been the wish of the minister to resign ever since the news broke but she was subdued by forces over and above her.
Adeosun, Ogun State East London University trained development economist was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2015″.
Before her appointment, Adeosun worked as Accounting Assistant at the British Telecom Company, London from 1989 to 1990 and Senior Audit Officer at Goodman Jones, London from 1996 to 2000.
However, it was not clear whether her option to resign (as its usually done in developed countries) has links with an ultimatum by a set of Lagos human rights lawyers who gave her some weeks in August to not only resign but get ready to and face criminal justice.
A top official of the presidency recently said the apex government stand by the NYSC that only recalled that she did apply for exemption, but cannot say anything further pending end of investigations which have become almost endless.
Business Hilights recalls that the Lagos lawyers had relied on the Freedom of Information Act passed some years ago to perfect documentation to drag the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) over their terse statement on what they know concerning the trending exemption certificate forgery allegation handing on the neck of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.
Anxiety went high when after days of breaking the news by Premium Times, the NYSC came out with a statement saying “Our attention has been drawn to the issue of the alleged forgery of an NYSC Exemption Certificate by the Honorable Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.
“Checking our records, Mrs. Adeosun did apply for an Exemption Certificate.
“We shall investigate the origin of the purported Exemption Certificate in question.”
However, not satisfied with the three-sentenced statement, some Lagos based lawyers say they may approach a Federal High Court to compel the federal agency to expose all they know about the trending issue.
Though the group said they are yet to make public their entire moves, one of the team members who pleaded anonymity averred in a telephone interview with Business Hilights on Wednesday that “If either the Minister or the NYSC fail to open up on what actually transpired in few days, they will invoke the FOI Act to compel both parties to address Nigerians so as to keep the record straight and on time”.
However, a former Director of Mobilisation at the NYSC, Mr.Anthony Ani, who featured on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Wednesday, July 11, provided serious leads that will assist the aggrieved lawyers in perfecting their planned court action.
He said Brig. Gen. M. I Tsiga was the Director-General of the NYSC in September 2009 but curiously, it was Brig. Gen. Yusuf Bomoi, who purportedly signed the one belonging to the minister.
In his opinion, Ani averred that “The certificate that I saw, that one that I saw if it is the one that they are talking about, the one I saw online, it was not issued by NYSC. I don’t know who issued it. It was not issued by NYSC because what I saw there, the signatory to that certificate was our DG (Gen. Bomoi) who left in January and Gen. Tsiga took over from Gen Bomoi.
“Tsiga was a sitting DG even as of that September 2009. So, I don’t know where her certificate came from but NYSC cannot make that kind of mistake. The NYSC that I served, I know can never make that kind of mistake.”
Continuing, he made it clear that “If you are above 30 even by one day, you will be exempted but if you are below 30 or you are 30 at the time of graduation, you will be deployed.
“It is not possible to be exempted if you graduated below 30 because it is against the NYSC Act.”
“So, even if you graduate at the age of 20 and you are in the United States and you have not made yourself available to be mobilised, whenever you come back even if you are 60 years, you have to undergo the NYSC.”
Relying on the Act establishing NYSC, the former Director made if further clear that “If you read Section 13 of the NYSC Act, it says not making yourself available for service is a criminal offence. However, whenever you want the NYSC certificate, whether you delay it until you are 60 years old, you must come to serve because you graduated when you were below 30.
“According to Section 13 of the NYSC Act, if you give false information concerning your NYSC, you are liable (sic). If you present a certificate that was not issued by the NYSC, you are liable (sic). It is a criminal offence.
“Whoever is employing anybody in this country, whether private or government, once you are coming in to accept that appointment, you are to present your NYSC certificate and it is also the responsibility of your employer to request it.”
Observers believed that from the presentations of the former director, Ani, NYSC and the Minister have more explanations to make and as soon as possible.
The federal government on the other hand seems to be making the matter rather more confusing as the Minister of Information who responded to the matter only said government is standing by the statement of the Corp.
Before now, several Nigerians and the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have demanded the resignation of the Minister of Finance, over her alleged forgery of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate.