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Adeosun did not need NYSC certificate to hold public office – Court

Post created on July 8, 2021

A federal high court in Abuja has ruled that Kemi Adeosun, former Minister of Finance, had no obligation to produce a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate to enable her to hold public office in Nigeria.

However the court was silent on the allegation that she forged the certificate.

Adeosun who resigned as minister in 2018 was accused of having forged the NYSC certificate she presented as part of her credentials.

But delivering ruling in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/303/21 brought by Wole Olanipekun, a senior lawyer, on behalf of the former minister, Taiwo Taiwo, the judge, held that the former minister does not require an NYSC certificate to hold public office.

In the originating summons before the court, Adeosun through her counsel had argued that as of 1989, when she graduated from the University of East London, United Kingdom the constitution in force in Nigeria, was the 1979 constitution.

“Although the said 1979 constitution placed a condition for persons with dual citizenship to renounce their other citizenship upon attaining the age of 21 for them to retain their Nigerian citizenship, the plaintiff upon attaining the age of 21 on 9th March 1988, did not renounce her United Kingdom citizenship, and she held only to her United Kingdom citizenship until her graduation from the University of London at the age of 22, in 1989, and thereafter,” the document said.

“In essence, by the effect of the said 1979 Constitution, the plaintiff had, as at the date of her graduation from the University, forfeited her Nigerian citizenship, which did not revert to her until the promulgation of the 1999 Constitution, when she was already 32 years old.

The judge also granted a declaration that “the plaintiff cannot be subjected to any penalty, forfeiture or put under any encumbrance in relation to her occupation or assumption of any of the following public offices, created by the Constitution.”


What did Kemi Adeosun say?

Adeosun said in a statement posted to her Facebook page,

“The ruling vindicates me after a very traumatic spell,”

“It is, however, not only a personal victory; it’s also a victory for many Nigerians in the Diaspora under similar conditions who are desirous to serve their country.”

“I wish to add in light of the court’s ruling, I will at the appropriate time and without hesitation, take all further steps necessary within the law to protect my reputation,” she said

Kemi Adeosun, a former investment banker and accountant, served as finance commissioner in the southwestern state of Ogun before being named in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet in 2015.

She served as Nigeria’s minister for finance between November 2015 and September 2018.

She resigned after she was accused of forging her NYSC exemption certificate.

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