NYSC CERTIFICATE SCANDAL: Court Clears Ex-Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun

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Kemi Adeosun, NYSC CERTIFICATE SCANDAL, Court, Ex-Finance Minister
Kemi Adeosun

NYSC CERTIFICATE SCANDAL: Court Clears Ex-Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun

A Federal High Court in Abuja has cleared former Nigeria’s finance minister, Kemi Adeosun of wrongdoing in the controversy surrounding her National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) scheme certificate.

Adeosun was alleged to have presented a forged certificate purported to have been issued by the NYSC which the scheme’s management said they did not issue, leading to her resignation and subsequent escape from the country at the height of the controversy.

Wednesday’s judgement however was not concerned with forgery.

In the judgment, Justice Taiwo Taiwo held that Adeosun was not qualified to have participated in the scheme when she graduated from a London university at 22 years, because she was then a British citizen.

Justice Taiwo further held that, as at when she formally returned to Nigeria, and became a Nigerian citizen, at over 30 years old, she was no longer eligible to present herself for the NYSC scheme.

The judgment was on a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/303/2021 filed and prosecuted for Adeosun by her lawyer, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), with the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) as the sole defendant.

The judge noted that the plaintiff was not supposed to present herself for the NYSC scheme, because under the 1979 Constitution, which was in force at the time of her graduation, she was not a Nigerian citizen and that she became a Nigerian citizen when she was above 30 years which was beyond the age of participation in the scheme.

Justice Taiwo held that since the 1979 Constitution, which was in force at the time she graduated did not recognise dual citizenship, Adeosun could not have engaged in the NYSC scheme, because she was then a British citizen.

He added that since the extant Constitution did not require the plaintiff to present an NYSC discharge certificate to be appointed a minister, her ministerial appointment was not illegal, neither was it unconstitutional, even without presenting the NYSC certificate.

Justice Taiwo, who observed that Adeosun graduated from the University of East London in 1989 at the age of 22, held that participation in the NYSC scheme and the possession of its discharge certificate is not a yardstick for qualification for appointment as a minister or to stand election as a member of the House of Representatives.

“The plaintiff has proved her entitlement to all the reliefs sought,” the judge said, and proceeded to grant the four relie sought in favour of the plaintiff.

The relief granted are:

*A declaration that the plaintiff is under no constitutional disability, disadvantage, prohibition, inhibition or disqualification to hold any of the following offices established by the Constitution, to wit: offices of member of the House of Assembly of a State, a Commissioner in the State Executive Council; Governor of a State; member of the National Assembly; Minister in the Federal Executive Council or the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on the ground that she did not participate in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme, established by the National Youth Service Corps Act, CAP N84, LFN 2004.

*A declaration that the plaintiff is not under any constitutional disability, disadvantage, prohibition, inhibition or disqualification to hold any office as member or Chairman of any of the State Executive or Federal Executive bodies established by the Constitution or otherwise, on the ground that she did not participate in the National Youth Service Corps scheme, established by the National Youth Service Corps Act, CAP N84, LFN 2004.

*A declaration 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, to wit: membership of the House of Assembly of a State, a Commissioner in the State Executive Council; Governor of a State, member of the National Assembly; Minister in the Federal Executive Council, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, membership of any of the States or Federal Executive bodies, established by the Constitution or otherwise on the ground that she did not participate in the National Youth Service Corps scheme established by the National Youth Service Corps Act,, CAP N84 LFN 2004.

*A declaration that 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 Corpse scheme, established by the National Youth Service Corps Act, CAP N8, LFN, 2004″

 

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