NYSC: Court grants Kemi Adeosun reprieve but silent on certificate forgery
NYSC: Court grants Kemi Adeosun reprieve but silent on certificate forgery, this was announced by the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Nigeria’s former finance minister Kemi Adeosun, who was accused of forging her NYSC certificate, got what appears to be a reprieve from a court on Wednesday, the 7th of July, 2021.
The Federal High Court in Abuja ruled that Mrs Adeosun did not break any law by being appointed to the ministerial position in 2015 though she did not take part in the NYSC scheme.
However, the fact that Mrs Adesosun forged her NYSC certificate to be appointed minister, was not brought before the court as the federal government has refused to prosecute her for that.
Taiwo Taiwo, the judge, held that Mrs Adeosun, as of the time she graduated from a United Kingdom university at 22 in 1989, was a British citizen who was not qualified to partake in the scheme.
Furthermore, 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.
Mr Taiwo ruled that NYSC certificate was not a requirement for Mrs Adeosun to be appointed as a Nigerian minister or contest for state or national assembly elections.
Therefore, the judge did not review the forgery of an NYSC exemption certificate which Mrs Adeosun procured for her screening ahead of her ministerial appointment in 2015.
“It is my finding, which was not challenged (by the Attorney General of the Federation) that by the time she (Adeosun) moved back to Nigeria in 2003, she was not eligible under the NYSC Act to serve in the National Youth Service Corps scheme.
“In fact, it would have been a criminal offence if she had participated in the NYSC under any guise.
“She had also been self-employed and was not in the employment of any agency or government, and therefore, she did not have to present a certificate of discharge as a prerequisite for employment.
“In any case, I have already determined from the facts before me that she was over the age limit for participation in the National Youth Service Corps at the time she moved to Nigeria.
“The plaintiff is a citizen of Nigeria by virtue of Section 25 (1) (C) of the 1999 Constitution. From my reading of this section of the Constitution, it is my finding that the plaintiff not being a Nigerian citizen in 1989 when she graduated from the University of East London, the United Kingdom, she was not eligible to participate in the National Youth Service Corps scheme,” the judge said.
On whether or not NYSC is required for ministerial appointment or legislative election, the judge said, “For the avoidance of doubt, participation in the NYSC scheme is not a yardstick to be elected into any of the legislative houses be it in the states or at the National Assembly, ditto (likewise) for ministerial appointment, despite the National Youth Service Corps Act being an integral part of the constitution by virtue of section 315 (5) of the Constitution.
“I have looked at the evidence before the court. I therefore grant all the reliefs in favour of the plaintiff. This is the judgement of the court.”
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