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Court clears ex-finance minister from NYSC certificate scandal

By News Desk

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has cleared Nigerian former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate scandal that led to her resignation in 2018 after she was alleged to have forged the mandatory one-year national service certificate.

The court ruled that the National Youth Service Corps certificate was not mandatory for appointment into political office in the country, and as such, the certification was not part of the constitutional requirement to hold public office in Nigeria.

Delivering the judgment on Wednesday, the presiding judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in his ruling on the originating summons with suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/303/21 brought by Wole Olanipekun (SAN), on her behalf, held that the NYSC certificate, based on the constitution, was not a mandatory requirement for holding a political office in the country.

“I am of the view that denying the plaintiff of the reliefs sought is not going to be doing justice to the matter,” Taiwo said. The judge, therefore, granted all the four reliefs sought by the former minister.

Taiwo noted that the Attorney General of the Federation, in his counter-affidavit, did not challenge the averment of the plaintiff, wherein the defendant stated that the Federal Government did not withdraw the ministerial appointment of the plaintiff or ask her to resign, but that Adeosun resigned of her own accord.

While Adeosun was the plaintiff in the suit, the Attorney-General of the Federation was the sole defendant.

Meanwhile, Reacting to the judgment, the ex-Minister said that the court ruling meant she has been vindicated and was in consonant with her earlier position when the scandal reared its head.

Through a statement, she personally issued on Wednesday in Abuja, Adeosun noted that it was pleasing to noted that the court ruled that the constitution does not require presenting first-degree certificate or any other certificate, including the NYSC certificate, to be appointed a Minister.

“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 the 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. I thank you all.”

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