After the dust appeared to have long settled on the allegation of forgery of the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC) certificate by former finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, which surfaced two years ago, the recent ruling of the court on the case has reawakened sentiments and criticisms.
A report had indicted Kemi Adeosun of forging her NYSC certificate in 2018 and its virality had left the body with no option than to investigate the allegations. The outcome of the check by the awarding body was that Adeosun was never issued any certificate, at least legally and it took well over two months, despite repeated calls from Nigerians, for the UK-born finance expert to eventually resign on September 14, 2018.
The resignation would not be the end. The case would however be taken to court by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF). The official ruling which was delivered on July 7th stated that:
“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.”
By implication, it means that the case presented before the court was the requirement of NYSC certificate as a requirement for public office. It appears surprisingly convenient that the issue of forgery which was what sparked the debacle in the first instance was left out and it raises the curiosity if public service holders are not bound by the same law that applies to ‘commoners.’
The reaction of Adeosun herself, that she’s vindicated may be seen as a feeble attempt to prove honour which many describe as still lacking, since the case was never about NYSC certificate as a requirement for public office but the presentation of a forged document.
Having served as a Commissioner for Finance in Ogun State, it means the case of forgery and perjury extends way beyond the Buhari tenure.
The court ruling may have gone the way the former minister hoped but the opinion of many is that it does not gaslight Nigerians into believing that she was acquitted for forgery. That blot is one that may never go away.
Kola Muhammed has imprint across local and international media. He is passionate about trends in the domains of culture, communication and technology.