A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, cleared the former Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, of the alleged National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate forgery, which resulted in her eventual resignation from office in 2018.
Her resignation over the NYSC certificate controversy followed series of relentless news coverage on the matter for some months and some court cases against her and the NYSC.
While delivering his ruling on the originating summon with suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/303/21 brought by Wole Olanipekun, SAN, on her behalf, Justice Taiwo Taiwo held that the NYSC certificate based on the constitution is not a mandatory requirement for holding a political office in the country.
According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), while Adeosun was the plaintiff in the suit, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) was the sole defendant.
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Justice Taiwo, while delivering the judgment, stressed that the NYSC certificate, based on the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is not a mandatory requirement for holding a political office in the country.
He held that Adeosun, from available facts, was a United Kingdom (UK) citizen having been born in the UK in 1967 and remained there till 2003 when she came back to Nigeria.
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He said that Adeosun became a Nigerian citizen by virtue of the 1999 Constitution which came into force on May 29 of the year, therefore, the NYSC Act would have no effect on her.
Taiwo held that the former minister would have committed a grave crime against Nigeria if she had participated in the NYSC, having attained the exemption age of 36 years.
The judge also noted that the AGF, in his counter-affidavit, did not challenge the avirement of the plaintiff.
He further noted that the defendant, in one of the paragraphs of the application, stated that the Federal Government neither withdrew the ministerial appointment of the plaintiff nor asked her to resign, but that Adeosun resigned on her own accord.
“I am of the view that denying the plaintiff of the relieves sought is not going to be doing justice to the matter,” the judge held.
The judge, therefore, granted all the four relieves sought for determination by the former minister.
In the application, she sought a declaration that she is under no constitutional disability, disadvantage, prohibition, inhibition or disqualification to hold any of the following offices established by the Constitution, to wit: offices of member of the House of Assembly of a State, a Commissioner in the State Executive Council; Governor of a State; member of the National Assembly; Minister in the Federal Executive Council, on grounds that she did not participate in the NYSC scheme, established by the National Youth Service Corps Act