‘As far as I am concerned, there’s nothing against Adeosun for now,’ says Sagay

ITSE Sagay, a Professor of law and Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACAC) says he does not think Adeosun has any question to answer, at least for now, over the allegation of forgery against her.

Sagay, speaking to The Punch, said the onus is on the management of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to come out clear and explain to Nigerians whether Adeosun’s certificate is fake or not.

Adeosun was alleged to have been using a forged NYSC exemption certificate, having failed to carry out the one-year national service which is mandatory for every Nigerian who graduated from the university or polytechnic before the age of 30.

The finance minister schooled in the United Kingdom, and graduated at the age of 22, but did not return to Nigeria until several years later. But having graduated before 30, Adeosun was not eligible for an exemption from service, yet she obtained an exemption certificate, which reports say was fraudulently procured.

The law prohibits any government or private organisation from engaging any Nigerian who does not provide a certificate of national service or an exemption certificate.

But Sagay insists that it is only when the NYSC has spoken on the matter, that Adeosun can be asked to defend herself if necessary.

“To start with, without expressing an opinion on the validity of the exemption certificate or not, we have been preaching transparency in government operations since the time we came to power,” Sagay was quoted as saying.

“As far as I know, Mrs. Adeosun is one of the best ministers we have ever had in terms of skills, transparency and accountability. She has excelled and she is a very valuable member of this government.

“But, I think the onus should be on the NYSC since she applied and got a certificate. If that is not contradicted, they should just leave her alone but if it is contradicted, then there would be an issue to consider.

“So, as far as I am concerned, there is nothing against her right now.

“Yes, the NYSC should come clean since they have all the records. Let them come out with what they have so that the lady would be able to defend herself if necessary.”

A spokesperson of the NYSC, in a statement on Monday, said that “Adeosun did apply for an exemption certificate”, but the statement was silent on when the application was made and whether it was granted.

Neither Adeosun nor the presidency has officially reacted to the report, exactly one week after it was published.

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