Certificate Scandal: Nigeria’s Finance Minister Resigns
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed the Minister of State Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, as the replacement for Kemi Adeosun who resigned as the minister for finance today.
Adeosun resigned earlier on Friday, more than 60 days after she was accused of forging her NYSC exemption letter.
“President Muhammadu Buhari accepted the resignation of the Hon. Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun,” the Presidency said in a statement on Friday.
“The President thanked the Minister for her services to the nation and wished her well in her future pursuits.”
A presidential spokesman said on September 10 that an investigation on the alleged certificate was still ongoing and that the government will make public its findings and take appropriate actions on the matter.
“The minister of information has spoken on the matter. And a process is ongoing to address the allegations. When that process is complete, Nigerians will know the outcome,” said senior special assistant on media and publicity to the President Buhari, Garba Shehu, on AIT’s Kaakaki earlier in the week.
“It’s an allegation. If it is proven, you will see what will happen. The minister and the NYSC have spoken on the matter.”
When challenged on the length of time the ‘investigation’ was taking, Shehu said: “It is not for me to decide (the duration). I don’t have the full facts of the matter, so why the investigation is not out, I don’t know. I hope there will be an early outcome.
Professor Itse Sagay, chairman of Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) had said the minister should not be sacked because ‘she’s damn good’. He further claimed it is irrelevant if she didn’t do the mandatory youth service.
Femi Adesina, a presidential spokesman on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily in August, noted that Professor Itse Sagay’s comments were his personal opinion and not the stance of the President.
‘It was a personal comment, that is not the position of the Government and Professor Sagay has a right to his opinion.
“It will not be down the aisle of Professor Sagay to advise on that matter because it is not a corruption matter so to speak.”
Section 13 of the NYSC law prescribes punishment for anyone who absconds from the scheme or forges its certificates, while eligible Nigerians who skipped the service are liable to be sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and/or N2, 000 fine.
Section 13 (3) of the law also prescribes three-year jail term or option of N5, 000 fine for anyone who contravenes the provision of the law as is alleged Mrs Adeosun has done.
Subsection 4 of the same section also criminalises giving false information or illegally obtaining the agency’s certificate. It provides for up to a three-year jail term for such offenders.