Nigeria Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun Resigns Amid Forgery Scandal

by Bamidele Ogunberu Posted on September 14th, 2018

Abuja, Nigeria : Nigeria Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, has reportedly resigned from the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. It is not clear when she submitted her resignation letter.

According to our source, the resignation followed the allegation of not serving the compulsory National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, and obtaining a certificate that the NYSC have disowned.

The minister felt that her position is becoming untenable and is hurting the President in the run up to the 2019 election.

However  the minister is reported to have  resumed in her office this morning and it is unclear when the resignation will take effect.

Kemi Adeosun had come under fire with several Nigerians, particularly on social media, demanding investigation from the Federal Government into the allegations and calling for her resignation for presenting an alleged forged exemption certificate.

The reports claimed that the finance minister, who did not participate in the one-year national youth service, allegedly forged an Exemption Certificate several years after her graduation.

The certificate, which is dated September 2009, was reportedly signed by an NYSC Director-General, Yusuf Bomoi, who already left the scheme in January 2009.

In November 2015, Adeosun was appointed as Minister of Finance under President Muhammadu Buhari after she had been cleared by the Department of State Services and by the Senate.

Minister of finance Kemi Adeosun is alleged to have aobtained a “fake” National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate.

Adeosun, who graduated from the Polytechnic of East London (now University of East London) in 1989, worked in the UK up until 2002, at age 35, when she returned to Nigeria.

The NYSC scheme is compulsory for all Nigerians who graduate from universities or equivalent institutions at less than 30 years of age. According to the NYSC law, you cannot secure a job in Nigeria without your NYSC certificate.

If you are eligible to undergo the mandatory service but skip it, you are liable to 12 months imprisonment and/or N2,000 fine, Section 13 of the NYSC law says.

The law also prescribes three-year jail term or option of N5,000 fine for anyone who contravenes provision of the law, including giving false information or illegally obtaining the agency’s certificate.

According to the NYSC law, you can only obtain an exemption certificate if:

You graduated before 30
You hold a national honour
You have served in the armed forces or police for up to nine months
You are a staff of an intelligence agency or armed forces
Premium Times’ report states that Adeosun worked in Nigeria for seven years (from 2002 to 2009) before obtaining a “certificate of exemption” which the paper has “authoritatively” reported as fake.

The NYSC does not issue exemption certificate to anyone who, like the minister, graduates before turning thirty.

Adeosun’s certificate was purportedly signed by former NYSC DG Yusuf Bomoi and issued in September 2009. However, Bomoi, who passed in 2017, stepped down from his position in January 2009.

Adeosun has served as commissioner for finance in Ogun state (2011 – 2015) and was appointed minister of finance by President Muhammadu Buhari government following confirmation from the senate and security checks by the Department of State Services (DSS).

Top officials of the NYSC scheme have reportedly described the certificate as fake.

“This one is an Oluwole certificate. We did not issue it and we could not have issued it,”  an NYSC official said on condition of anonymiyty. Oluwole is a location in Lagos known for document forgery.

“This is not the size of our exemption certificate. The calligraphy is also different.” the official added.

The DSS failed to discover that the certificate is fake but the senate allegedly did and kept mum, sources say.

The Senate, which received the fake certificate as part of the documents Mrs Adeosun submitted for her confirmation hearing is alleged to have detected the discrepancy.

But it nonetheless proceeded to clear her for the top office. Those familiar with the matter said the leadership of the National Assembly used that information to blackmail and extort Mrs Adeosun for years.

A National Assembly cartel allegedly used the fake certificate scandal “to coerce the finance minister to keep releasing funds to the lawmaking arm.” Recall that Adeosun had been enmeshed in a N10bn scandal involving the senate leaders.

Date fixed to hear suit against Kemi Adeosun In NYSC certificate saga

The Federal High Court in Abuja has now fixed date to hear a suit asking it to sack the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun from office.

The court fixed October 8 to hear suit against her for not possessing a valid discharge certificate issued by the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC.

The Chief Judge of the high court, Justice Abdul Abdu-Kafarati, has assigned the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/712/2018, to Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu for expeditious hearing.

A constitutional lawyer, Mr. Francis Obalim, had approached the court, praying for an order quashing and setting aside Mrs. Adeosun’s appointment as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari, same being an act done in circumvention of a condition precedent and in contravention of mandatory Sections 12, 13 and 14 of the NYSC Act which is an integral part of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

He maintained that Adeosun who was cited as the 1st defendant in the matter, was not qualified to be employed by the Federal Government of Nigeria either as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or in any other capacity whatsoever, without first presenting a valid discharge certificate issued by the NYSC.

The plaintiff, through his counsel, Mr. Johnmary Jideobi, sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining FG from further according a Ministerial status to the 1st defendant, until she presents a valid certificate of discharge regularly issued by the NYSC.

He wants the court to compel the 1st defendant to refund forthwith to FG, through the Treasury Single Account domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria, all the salaries, emoluments, allowances and such other benefits she has enjoyed since her resumption as a Minister in 2015.

Other defendants in the suit are the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and Clerk of the Senate.

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Bamidele Ogunberu

Bamidele Ogunberu

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