Around every election cycle, Nigerians are betrayed by individuals whom they thought were above petty politics. Professor Itse Sagay, the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) is the most recent culprit to lay his conscience and professionalism on the altar of crass political loyalty. He insulted the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme in a bid to delegitimize the forgery and perjury allegations levelled against the Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun by Premium Times Newspaper.
However, there is a ray of hope that the case will not be swept under the carpet but that justice will surely prevail even if the mill grinds slowly. The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has dragged the NYSC and its Director General, Brigadier-General Sule Kazaure before a Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, over the failure of the agency to publish specific documents and information on Adeosun’s application for NYSC exemption, and seeks to compel it to explain if the minister truly obtained the exemption certificate from the NYSC. The suit follows SERAP’s Freedom of Information (FOI) request which the NYSC DG has failed to respond to.
SERAP’s choice of taking the legal route on the issue is commendable, but this incidence confirms that the Buhari-led administration is not in any way better than its predecessors which they’ve always blamed for imposing sixteen years of rot on the country. The level of impunity and moral decadence under this administration is so pervasive, it stinks.
Kemi Adeosun is not alone in this. The Special Assistant on Prosecutions to the President, Okoi Obono-Obla has been accused of having a forged WASSCE certificate. Both individuals still have their jobs. This is a pointer that Buhari condones forgery amongst members of its staff. SERAP’s approach is good, but what tales will generations unborn read about Buhari’s acceptance of impunity and illegality?