Former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has reacted to the court’s ruling on the case involving her participation in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Adeosun said the ruling vindicates her after what she described as a very traumatic spell.
She described the situation as victory not only for her, but for many Nigerians in the diaspora under similar conditions who desire to serve their country.
“My lawyers have informed me of the judgment by the Federal High Court, Abuja, in the case of Folakemi Adeosun vs the Attorney General of the Federation (FHC/ABJ/CS/303/2021) in which the court, presided over by Honourable Justice Taiwo Taiwo, ruled that the constitution does not require me to present my first-degree certificate or any other certificate, including the NYSC certificate, to be appointed a minister,” the former minister said.
“More importantly, he also ruled that I was not eligible to perform NYSC by virtue of the constitution.
“This is the position I have always maintained and am happy for this official clarification.
“The ruling vindicates me after a very traumatic spell. It is, however, not only a personal victory; it’s also a victory for many Nigerians in the diaspora under similar conditions who are desirous to serve their country.
“I wish to thank God, my family, friends, my counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and numerous well-wishers for their love, care and concern throughout this difficult period, which has lasted three whole years.
“I wish to add in light of the court’s ruling, I will at the appropriate time and without hesitation, take all further steps necessary within the law to protect my reputation”.
Barely three years after she assumed office, Adeosun resigned in 2018 after she was accused of forging an NYSC certificate.
The decision, according to her at the time, was the honourable thing to do as investigations into the allegation had commenced.
Upon her resignation, she explained that she was born and raised in the United Kingdom and her visits to Nigeria up until the age of 34 were holidays, with visas obtained in her UK passport.
She went further to explain that she had obtained her first Nigerian passport at the age of 34 and when she relocated, there was debate as to whether the NYSC Law applied to her.
“Upon enquiry as to my status relating to NYSC, I was informed that due to my residency history and having exceeded the age of thirty (30), I was exempted from the requirement to serve.
Until recent events, that remained my understanding,” the former minister wrote in her resignation letter.
“On the basis of that advice and with the guidance and assistance of those, I thought were trusted associates, NYSC were approached for documentary proof of status. I then received the certificate in question.
Having never worked in NYSC, visited the premises, been privy to, nor familiar with their operations, I had no reason to suspect that the certificate was anything but genuine.
Indeed, I presented that certificate at the 2011 Ogun State House of Assembly and in 2015 for Directorate of State Services (DSS) Clearance as well as to the National Assembly for screening.
Be that as it may, as someone totally committed to a culture of probity and accountability I have decided to resign with effect from Friday, 14th September, 2018.”.
Shortly after her resignation, Zainab Ahmed was appointed as the new Minister for Finance.