Kemi Adeosun: There’s an attempt to rewrite history – Premium Times boss

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The Editor-in-Chief of Premium Times, Musikilu Mojeed says the medium is standing by its story that exposed the alleged forgery of the NYSC exemption certificate presented by former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun to land the job.

Recall that Adeosun resigned from her appointment in 2018 following the controversy generated by the exposé.

However, a court ruled on Wednesday, July 7 that the ex-minister did not need the NYSC exemption certificate to take up a ministerial appointment or vie for an elective office in the country.

Adeosun had in an originating summon with suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/303/2021 filed on March 11 by her lawyer, Wole Olanipekun SAN, listed the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) as the sole defendant

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in a judgment, held that Adeosun was not qualified to have participated in the scheme when she graduated at 22 years because she was then a British citizen.

Justice Taiwo further held that as at when she formally returned to Nigeria and became a Nigerian citizen at over 30 years, she was not eligible to present herself for the NYSC service.

The judge said Adeosun or anyone did not require a discharge certificate of NYSC to qualify to contest election to the House of Representatives or be appointed a minister in Nigeria.

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Reacting, Mojeed said that the court judgement in the civil case filed by Adeosun did not absolve her of forgery.

He said that a section of the media misled the public that the ex-minister had been acquitted despite forgery not being an element in the suit resolved by the court.

Mojeed accused the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (OAGF) of putting up a “weak defence” in the case.

“There is no acquittal. It was a civil case so you can’t get an acquittal through a civil case. She was the one who went to court seeking interpretation of the law on whether she is under any obligation to serve or whether she stands to be disqualified from being minister as a result of not participating in National Youth Service (NYSC).

“So that was the issue for determination and there was no acquittal at all.

“As far as we are concerned, the issues we raised in our story remain. We believe that the attorney general, who was the defendant in the case, did not put up a strong defence in the case.

“He basically agreed with all the points raised by the plaintiff, which is Adeosun.

“He basically concurred to almost all of her points. He is wrong to agree that Adeosun was not eligible for NYSC,” he told Daily Trust.

Buttressing his point on the defence put up by the OAGF, Mojeed said, “Anyone familiar with the law knows it was true that at a point under the Nigerian law, when Adeosun was 22 years old, she lost her citizenship of Nigeria but the law was again amended by the Babangida regime with a decree.

“At the age of 25, she regained her citizenship. She lost her citizenship at 22 and regained it at 25 so she should have served. I am not sure that was put before the court.

“The impression that was created in court was that she lost her citizenship at 22 and that it was only when she was 34 that she returned to the country to obtain her first passport.

“Remember that obtaining a passport is not a determinant of citizenship. There are several citizens of Nigeria who have never obtained passport.

“So, the fact that she came at 34 to obtain a passport does not mean that she was not a citizen before then. So that strand of our story remains valid as far as we are concerned.”

Mojeed said that while Adeosun’s eligibility to hold office without presenting an NYSC exemption certificate might have been resolved, her alleged presentation of a forged exemption certificate remained unresolved.

“But there are two sides to our story. One is that she skipped NYSC. The second part of the story was that she presented a forged NYSC exemption certificate and that has not been controverted by anyone.

“She admitted realising eventually that the certificate was forged but that she didn’t know that until our investigation.

“Even the government conducted an inquiry and it came to the same conclusion that the NYSC exemption certificate she presented was not genuine.

“So, we are wondering why the government is yet to charge her for forgery. Basically, we feel strongly that our story is 100 percent correct and we will continue to stand by our story.”

Also, he expressed disappointment that the Federal Government has failed to prosecute the minister for forgery four years after the matter came to public attention.

“Another thing that is curious is why will a government that claims to be fighting corruption refuse, for about three years, to charge Kemi Adeosun for forgery.

“Yet, every now and then, Nigerians, either those who forged certificates of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) or other institutions are being charged and convicted for forgery.

“Why are we not all equal before the law? Why is Kemi Adeosun bigger than our law? Why has she not been in the dock to explain?

“She has even confessed that her certificate was forged and the government has done an inquiry and determined that the document she submitted to the DSS and the Senate for clearance to be confirmed as minister was fake.

“Why is the government reluctant about prosecuting her?

“So, what moral right does the government have to put any Nigerian who forged any certificate behind bars.

“Every day around the country, the federal government, governors and agencies of government continue to dismiss people who they believe presented forged certificates to be employed. Some of them are then prosecuted. So why is that of Adeosun different?”

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