Last updated on October 27th, 2018 at 06:41 pm
For the first time in history of Nigeria, a serving political office holder voluntarily resigned her appointment.
She wasn’t the first female minister of finance, but Mrs. Kemi Adeosun toed a dignifying path September 14, 2018 by bowing out of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
I have, today, become privy to the findings of the investigation into the allegation made in an online medium that the Certificate of Exemption from National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) that I had presented was not genuine.
This has come as a shock to me and I believe that in line with this administration’s focus on integrity, I must do the honourable thing and resign.
Your Excellency, kindly permit me to outline some of the background to this matter.
Was she the first to face such allegation?
Mrs. Adeosun isn’t the first to face forgery allegation. Salisu Buhari, a former senior Federal Lawmaker comes to mind any time issue of certificate forgery is mentioned.
Babachir Lawal at a time was accused of corruption, he refused to resign until he was shown the way out.
Mrs. Olubunmi Etteh, the former House of Representatives speaker never resigned for allegation of corruption until she was forced out of office.
Several political office holders who faced corruption cum forgery allegation in Nigeria never resigned until they were booted out, Kemi has toed the lane of dignity.
The UK-trained finance minister has been facing the allegation ever since Premium Times published that her NYSC certificate was fake.
Kemi Adeosun, before her appointment as the Nigeria’s minister of finance, was the Commissioner of Finance in Ogun State.
Adeosun is a brilliant woman, cocky and filled with ideas, she has also been instrumental to several methods by the Buhari-led government of looted funds recovery, and taxation methods which has hit some of the heavyweights since 1999 till 2015.
Why did she resigned?
She was alleged to have forged her National Youth Service Corps certificate, an offence punishable under Nigerian law.
While the controversy over the authenticity of her NYSC certificate was on, she refused to respond, while the government was silent, and the management of NYSC kept quiet as well.
That raised more questions.
She was said to have obtained NYSC exemption letter at a time she was under 30, there was no evidence that she was disabled at the time she obtained it.
NYSC on the other hand doesn’t issue exemption letter to someone who is under 30 and not disabled.
She responded to allegation by resigning. While some Nigerians said she took the most honourable decision, some believed she should be prosecuted for collecting several months of salaries using fake NYSC certificate.
Who is behind Kemi Adeosun’s NYSC tribulation?
The government of the 75-year old Muhammadu Buhari under which Kemi Adeosun served is popular for its “fight against corruption” campaign.
Corruption in Nigeria is multi dimensional: from tax evasion to official.
Kemi Adeosun is known to have engineered UK-method of discovering loopholes in taxes.
“When you fight corruption, corruption fights back,” that’s exactly what we’ve seen played out from the NYSC forgery scandal involving a “brilliant” female minister whose ideas had discovered how billionaires “cheat” Nigerian government.
There is no official name attributed to the sponsor of the investigation, we only know that a journalist came up with the research.
But could one of the powerful Nigerian billionaires behind the research by Premium Times?
Any implication on Buhari-led government?
Kemi Adeosun’s resignation is a big blow to the APC-government of Buhari, which has been witnessing internal crisis lately, with some of its most powerful members joining the opposition, they returned to where they came from, though.
And government has issued an official statement that she remained the minister of finance.
Has she been found guilty?
It’s still an allegation until the concerned authority (NYSC) responds whether indeed Mrs. Adeosun forged her NYSC certificate.
Even if NYSC management said she forged her certificate, only a competent court can pronounce her guilty.
Her resignation should pave the way for more investigation into circumstances surrounding the authenticity of her NYSC certificate.
But before them, she has taken the right step: it’s a critical case of dignity of resignation.