A weighty allegation was made against the woman who holds arguably the most consequential portfolio in the Muhammadu Buhari cabinet – minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun. An online newspaper, Premium Times, reported that the minister forged her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate. However, both the minister and her boss, President Buhari, have been quiet, choosing to ignore the outrage by Nigerians over the incident.
A presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said that he has not “heard of it being spoken” and is “completely unaware of anything.”
The NYSC management has now responded to the fraud allegations against the minister and the response has serious implications about her guilt.
According to the NYSC’s Director in charge of Press and Public Relations, Adeyemi Adenike, the minister truly applied for an exemption certificate. However, Adenike did not confirm that her request was granted.
“Our attention has been drawn to the issue of the alleged forgery of an NYSC Exemption Certificate by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun. Checking our records, Mrs. Adeosun did apply for an Exemption Certificate. We shall investigate the origin of the purported Exemption Certificate in question,” the NYSC statement said.
If truly the NYSC granted her the exemption it would have quickly said so.
By law, all Nigerian who graduate from a higher institution before turning 30 are expected to undertake the mandatory one year national service. Adeosun, who graduated at 22, did not. Instead, according to the Premium Times report, she fraudulently obtained an exemption certificate at 42, in violation of the NYSC establishment act, Decree No 24 of 1973 as amended.
Eligible Nigerians who skipped the service are liable to be sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and/or N2,000 fine, according to Section 13 of the NYSC law.