The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), should do the right thing and return the former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, to her position now that no type of NYSC certificate is required for appointment into political position, according to the court and the country’s constitution. Whether or not an NYSC exemption certificate, real or unreal, was given to her, the law now shows that it is immaterial, as she is automatically already entitled to have an exemption.
Nigeria as of the time of this writing remains a constitutional democracy, therefore, the executive arm of government must respect orders from the court. It is not proper for Buhari to choose which court order to comply with or to obey.
Over and over, many world powers and donors to Nigeria including the US, British, Canadian, and French governments continue to raise concern over the continued disrespect for the rule of law by this regime especially.
Adeosun, the Minister of Finance from 2015 to 2018, whose resignation occurred because of reasons now known to be unconstitutional, as per the federal court, is due for a return. As a psychologist, looking at her recent words, it appears that tremendous painful and traumatic feelings have followed her until this little legal relief. What is now left for her full relief is for the President to bring her back.
The President’s media aide, Garba Shehu, some months ago, during a discussion on Channels Television’s Politics Today, justified Adeosun’s resignation by saying, she forged a certificate “to come into office”. The court is now saying that the constitution does not state that a NYSC certificate, real or unreal, is a compulsory requirement for holding a political office. This ruling certainly sends a clear message to the Buhari regime regarding the need to understand the constitution more and practise it properly.
Adeosun never wanted to resign because she was sure the law was on her side. But under undue pressure and wordings like the remarks from the President’s media aide, she succumbed, and took a fall. In the resignation letter she sent to the President, she said: “Upon enquiry as to my status relating to the NYSC, I was informed that due to my residency history and having exceeded the age of 30…”, she was exempted. This is true.
Also, she said: “I was exempted from the requirement to serve. Until recent events, that remained my understanding. On the basis of that advice and with the guidance and assistance of those, I thought were trusted associates, the NYSC was approached for documentary proof of status. Having never worked in the NYSC, visited the premises, been neither privy to nor familiar with their operations, I had no reason to suspect that the certificate was anything but genuine…” Exactly.
It is important for Buhari, on the grounds of moderation and fair play, to see some flaws in those in charge of security screening and clearance. She added: “I presented that certificate at the 2011 Ogun State House of Assembly and in 2015 for Department of State Services clearance as well as to the National Assembly for screening…” Another aching part of her pains is that the presidency had purportedly investigated her and informed her that the finding was not favourable. Mr. President, it was also on that basis that she could have sent a letter of resignation, but now we know what ever was supposedly investigated, such outcome has no constitutional meaning to it.
Mr. President, as you always say and correctly, Nigerians are the problems. I agree fully with you as a psychologist that has written 100s of observations about the people and institutions. I have since termed the collective issue as Nigeriantitis, also known as Nigerian social-psychological-political-economic-environmental disorder (NSPPEED). She fell into it, big time, upon returning to her traditional home!
Beyond the reported NYSC certificate scandal, it should be clear that Adeosun fully returned to Nigeria having been born and raised in the UK, at the age of 34. Which means the NYSC requirement does not apply to her. And more troubling is that she was misled that she needed one. That is what happens in a society where almost everyone makes their own ‘laws.’
That is no longer the primary issue here, especially when the regime which accused her of forgery did not charge her to court all these years. Could it be that the regime probably knew a real or unreal NYSC certificate is not needed for her job?
Prof. John Egbeazien Oshodi, an American based psychologist, wrote in via Jos5930458@aol.com