By Chibisi Onyeka Ohaka [Abuja]
The Nigerian main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] has put the British government on notice that its citizen, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who was Nigeria’s finance minister until a fortnight ago when she resigned her appointment, had confessed to fraud in Nigeria, and “should not be allowed to shelter” in the United Kingdom
Mrs. Adeosun who was born, and lived all her life in the UK, until she took up political appointment with the Muhammadu Buhari administration in Nigeria, abandoned her position following confirmation that the National Youth Service Corps [NYSC] discharge certificate she presented as prerequisite for the job was fake.
Upon graduation from the university, young Nigerians under the age of 30 undergo a mandatory national youth service, whereas others above the stated age are issued with exemption certificates. In July 2018, a newspaper in Nigeria blew the lid on Adeosun’s NYSC discharge certificate, calling it fake. The story refused to leave the headlines, with many Nigerians calling on the Muhammadu Buhari administration to issue a statement on the development.
Mrs. Adeosun’s exemption certificate, which is dated September 2009, was reportedly signed by an NYSC Director-General, Yusuf Bomoi, who had left the scheme in January 2009. In her resignation letter to the Nigerian President, the former minister admitted that the NYSC exemption certificate she was issued with was not genuine. She said that persons other than herself, but with her authority, had secured the exemption certificate from the NYSC.
According to her, having presented the same certificate to the Ogun state House of Assembly, where she served earlier as commissioner, as well as the National Assembly, and to the Department of Security Services [DSS], and got approvals, she had no reason to doubt the authenticity of the certificate. Adeosun implied by her presentation that if there was any blame, the Nigerian system should get it
In a statement issued shortly after, the opposition party, the PDP, said it was necessary to put the British Prime Minister, Theresa May on notice that Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who holds a British passport, had confessed to crime in Nigeria, and should not be allowed to shelter in the UK. In the statement signed by the party’s national publicity secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP told President Muhammadu Buhari to stop parading himself as ‘Mr. Integrity’ following alleged revelations that the federal government smuggled Adeosun out of the country.
It alleged that the action was to prevent her from “exposing how the cabal in the presidency, including close relations and associates of the president fleeced the nation of trillions of naira.” The PDP further stated that the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress [APC] in congratulating Adeosun, even after she had admitted her culpability on issues of forgery and corrupt practices, had further showcased itself as a party of corruption; an iniquitous fold, where thieves receive medals instead of condemnation.
“There is clear evidence that Adeosun could not have circumvented the Department of State Services [DSS], Nigeria Intelligence Agency [NIA], National Security Adviser’s [NSA] office, the police and even the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation without the tacit approval of the Buhari presidency.