According to media reports, the finance minister, Kemi Adeosun forged her NYSC exemption certificate.
Premium Times also stated that Adeosun failed to participate in the mandatory NYSC scheme after completing her university education in London.
The minister earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of East London in 1989 after which she worked in various organisations abroad.
According to Premium Times, “When she eventually returned to Nigeria in 2002, Mrs Adeosun still did not deem it necessary to participate in the NYSC scheme. She simply accepted a job offer at a private firm, Chapel Hill Denham.
“However, ostensibly concerned that she might run into trouble for skipping the mandatory scheme, Mrs Adeosun, sometime in 2009, procured a fake exemption certificate.”
The report said that Adeosun’s certificate of exemption, dated September 9, 2009, was signed by Yusuf Bomoi, a former Director-General of the corp, who had stepped down from the NYSC eight months earlier in January.
Formation of the NYSC
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) was set up by the Yakubu Gowonadministration on May 22, 1973 as a tool for re-building the nation and reconciliation after the civil war by decree No. 24.
The aim of Gowon’s government was to promote promotion of national unity and build strong bonds among youths of Nigeria.
There have also been calls recently, for the scrapping of the scheme based on issues of security in some parts of the country, but proponents of the scheme have argued that it has helped graduates from universities and polytechnics appreciate the values and culture of other ethnic groups, and that it has achieved some of the objectives set by its founding fathers.
A quick look at the NYSC Act that deals with the issue of forgery and refusal to participate in the scheme, reveals several jail terms and fines for offenders.
According to Law Nigeria, section 13 of the NYSC Act states as follows:
(1) Any person—
(a) who fails to report for service in the service corps in the manner directed by the Directorate or as the case may be, prescribed pursuant to the provisions of this Act; or
(b) who refuses to make himself available for service in the service corps continuously for the period specified in subsection (2) of this section, is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of N2,000 or to imprisonment for a term of twelve months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
(2) Any person who—
(a) under the provisions of this Act is not eligible to participate in the service corps so participates or attempts to so participate is guilty of an offence; or
(b) having served in the service corps and has been duly issued with a Certificate of National Service or certificate of exemption, as the case may be, and is not eligible to serve under the same service corps so participates or attempts to so participate is guilty of an offence, and liable on conviction to a fine of N4,000 or to imprisonment for a term of two years or to both such fine and imprisonment.
(3) Any person who fails to comply with or who contravenes or causes or aids or abets another to contravene any provision of this Act (not being a provision relating to the calling up of members of the service corps) is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of N5,000 or to imprisonment for a term of three years or to both such fine and imprisonment.
(4) Any person who—
(a) in giving any information for the purposes of this Act knowingly or recklessly makes a statement which is false; or
(b) forges or uses or lends to or allows to be used other than in the manner provided by this Act by any other person any certificate issued pursuant to the provisions of this Act; or
(c) makes, or has in his possession any document so closely resembling any certificate so issued as to be calculated to deceive, is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of N5,000 or to imprisonment for a term of three years or to both such fine and imprisonment.
(5) Where an offence under subsection (3) of this section which has been committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of any director, manager, secretary or other official of the body corporate, or any person purporting to act in such capacity, he as well as the body corporate shall be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
The Peoples Democratic Party has also called on President Buhari to sack Adeosun and also allow the law take its full course.
According to PDP, the report on Adeosun shows that Buhari’s administration is not as upright as it portrays itself to be.
The Special Adviser Media and Communication to the Minister, Mr Oluyinka Akintunde has not responded to the text message sent to him by Pulse.