By Chidiebere Onyemaizu
Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, has finally been consumed by the three month old forgery scandal which she was embroiled in. An online medium, Premium Times, had in June reported that Adeosun forged the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC’s Exemption certificate to enable her qualify to work or hold political office in Nigeria.
Adeosun who was Ogun state Commissioner for Finance before her appointment in 2015 as Finance Minister graduated from a British Polytechnic at the age of 22, an age bracket within which she was qualified for the mandatory one year NYSC scheme at the end of which a discharge certificated is awarded, but she did not return to Nigeria for the scheme. The embattled former Finance Minister stayed put in Britain, working in a number of institutions in that country before returning to Nigeria few years back to pick appointments in financial institutions, including accounting firms.
She was eventually appointed into the Ogun state cabinet as Finance Commissioner by Governor Ibikunle Amosu. This Magazine was informed that lack of NYSC Discharge certificated which must be possessed by Nigerians who graduated from the country’s higher institutions or institutions abroad provided such a person was not above 30 at graduation, nearly scuttled her appointment.
However, rather than proceed to undertake the NYSC scheme having graduated at 22, and obtain a Discharge certificate, Adeosun opted to present a forged Exemption certificate.
When the forgery story broke, NYSC authorities issued a statement saying the ex- Finance Minister’s claim of possessing an Exemption certificate rather than Discharge certificate was being investigated, especially as the Exemption certificate she was parading bore the signature of a former Director-General of the corps (now late) who left office in January of the year it was issued.
A jigsaw Adeosun could not resolve was how a DG who left office in January signed her Exemption certificate in September of the same year. Her case was not also helped by emphatic assertions by an ex Director of the Corps and a former DG that the Exemption certificate in the possession of the Ogun state born former Minister never emanated from the NYSC as the Corps does not issue the certificate to persons who graduated within the age stipulated by the law establishing it.
Before Adeosun’s resignation, pressure had mounted on President Muhammadu Buhari to walk the talk on his claim to integrity and fight against corruption by sacking the Minister and another of his Aide, Godwin Obla Obla who WAEC has clearly said forged his result to gain university admission to study law.
Whether Obla will toe Adeosun’s line soon is not yet clear but observations say the resignation of the ex-Finance Minister is part of a soft landing granted her by Buhari. Source say the next phase of the soft landing will be half hearted arrest,trial and conviction of Adeosun to be followed almost immediately by a state pardon for her, all happening within a month or two.