The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has reacted to the alleged forgery of its Exemption Certificate by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, saying the minister actually applied for an exemption certificate.
NYSC’s Director in charge of Press and Public Relations, Mrs. Adeyemi Adenike, however, said in a statement Monday that the organisation would investigate “the origin of the purported certificate” presented by Adeosun during her ministerial screening.
Part of the statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to the issue of the alleged forgery of an NYSC Exemption Certificate by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.
“Checking our records, Mrs. Adeosun did apply for an Exemption Certificate. We shall investigate the origin of the purported Exemption Certificate in question.”
THISDAY had reported that the presidency said it was yet to be briefed about the alleged forgery of NYSC certificate by Adeosun.
An online news portal, Premium Times, had in a report at the weekend, alleged that the minister failed to undertake the mandatory one year national service, having graduated at 22, and fraudulently obtained an exemption certificate at 42, in violation of the NYSC establishment act, Decree No 24 of 1973 as amended.
Despite the weight of the allegation, the minister had kept quiet, failing to answer calls to her phones or return text messages from THISDAY.
But the NYSC had earlier promised to issue a statement on the matter.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, had told THISDAY that he was yet to be briefed on the forgery allegation.
“Well, I have not been briefed on this. I haven’t heard of it being spoken. I am completely unaware of anything,” he said in response to THISDAY’s query on what President Muhammadu Buhari was doing about the allegation that one of his ministers committed the crime of forgery.
Expectedly, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had at the weekend called on Buhari to sack and prosecute Adeosun on the strength of the allegation by the online medium.
The NYSC is compulsory for all Nigerians who graduate from universities or equivalent institutions at less than 30 years of age.
In addition to being a requirement for government and private sector jobs in Nigeria, the enabling law prescribes punishment for anyone who absconds from the scheme or forges its certificates.
Eligible Nigerians who skipped the service are liable to be sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and/or N2,000 fine, according to Section 13 of the NYSC law.