Adeosun did not need NYSC certificate to hold public office – Court

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari’s former Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun did not need a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate before she could hold any public office in Nigeria, an Abuja Federal High Court ruled on Wednesday.

The court, however, ignored the allegation of forgery for which she resigned from Buhari’s cabinet in 2018.

Adeosun brought the Buhari’s administration into national disrepute in 2018 after it was revealed that she presented a forged NYSC exemption certificate as part of her credentials.

The purported NYSC certificate was said to have been signed by a former director-general of the NYSC Yusuf Bomoi in 2009.

However, Maharazu Tsiga, former NYSC DG, who took over from Bomoi, said Adeosun’s certificate could not have been issued by the NYSC.

She subsequently filed a suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/303/21 through her counsel Wole Olanipekun, with the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami as the sole defendant.

She prayed to the court that as of the time she graduated from the University of East London in the United Kingdom at 22 in 1989, she was a British citizen who was not qualified to participate in the scheme, a position Taiwo Taiwo, the presiding judge, granted.

“The plaintiff, being a United Kingdom citizen as at 1989 when she graduated from the University of East London, London, United Kingdom, at the age of 22 years, was ineligible to participate in the National Youth Service Corps Scheme, established by the National Youth Service Corps Act, CAP N84, LFN 2004,” Taiwo said.






     

     

    The judge added that when she returned to Nigeria and became a Nigerian citizen at over 30 years old, she was no longer eligible to participate in the NYSC scheme.

    He argued that an NYSC certificate was not a requirement for her to be appointed as a Nigerian minister or contest the House of Representatives election.

    Taiwo added that “the plaintiff cannot be subjected to any penalty, forfeiture or put under any encumbrance in relation to her occupation or assumption of any of the following public offices, created by the Constitution.”

    Forgery is a criminal offence in Nigeria, punishable under Section 467 of the Criminal Code Act, which states thus: “Any person who forges any document, writing, or seal, is guilty of an offence which, unless otherwise stated, is a felony, and he is liable if no other punishment is provided, to imprisonment for three years.”

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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