THE Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has reportedly resigned from her position on Friday.
Adeosun has been embroiled in a certificate forgery scandal after she was alleged to be parading a fake National Youth Service Corps exemption certificate.
Details are still sketchy but several media organisations, including government-owned Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), reported the development, though it later pulled the tweet down.
The Daily Trust quoted a source as saying that Adeosun decided to step aside because “she felt that her position is becoming untenable and is hurting the President in the run-up to the 2019 election”.
However, The Punch reported that Adeosun has “resumed in her office this morning and it is unclear when the reported resignation will take effect.”
The Director of Press at the finance ministry, Hassan Dodo, told ThisDay newspaper that he does not have any information regarding the Minister’s purported resignation. The paper reported that Adeosun’s official car was parked at the ministry’s premises, and her aides said she was at the office working.
Efforts by the ICIR to get concrete information about the development proved abortive. The two presidential spokesmen, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, did not pick their calls, likewise Adeosun’s special assistant, Yinka Akintunde, who also did not respond to a message sent to him.
The NYSC Act made it mandatory that every Nigerian who graduated before the age of 30, from any university in the world, should take part in a one-year national service, without which such a person cannot be employed either by the government or the private sector in Nigeria.
The Act, however, exempts those who graduated after having attained the age of 30, as well as persons in the security and intelligence agencies, from participating in the national service. In this case, an exemption certificate is issued such a person by the NYSC.
But Adeosun, having graduated at the age of 22 from a University in the United Kingdom, did not participate in mandatory one-year service. On her return to Nigeria, she worked with various private and international organisations, in contravention of the NYSC Act.
After having worked for many years in Nigeria, Adeosun, according to an investigation by Premium Times, fraudulently procured a fake NYSC exemption certificate, which she includes as part of documents qualifying her to work in Nigeria. With the fake certificate, Adeosun had worked as a finance commissioner in Ogun State, before being appointed finance minister by President Muhammadu Buhari.
It’s been 69 days since the allegation of forgery was made against Adeosun, but mum has been the word from the federal government.
If the report of resignation proves correct, Adeosun would be the second high-profile cabinet member of the Buhari administration to leave office as a result of corruption allegation.
The first was former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir Lawal, who was removed from office after he was found guilty of abuse of office and contract scam.