The forgery scandal which swept Kemi Adeosun, the former minister of finance, out of office took a new dimension on Thursday, with Mrs Adeosun’s brother blaming Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s office for his sister’s resignation.
Mrs Adeosun’s elder brother, Dele Ogun, who is also her lawyer, said on Thursday that the Nigerian government has a case to answer in his sister’s resignation.
Mrs Adeosun, a British-Nigerian citizen, had resigned from office in 2018 in the heat of the scandal, following a report which showed she had presented a forged National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) exemption certificate to enable her get political appointment in Nigeria.
The former minister, however, got what appears to be a reprieve on Wednesday when a Federal High Court in Abuja ruled that she did not breach any law by being appointed to the ministerial position in 2015 without participating in the NYSC scheme.
The judge did not review the forgery of the NYSC exemption certificate since the issue was not part of the suit filed by Mrs Adeosun, of which the attorney general of the federation was the sole defendant.
“Admittedly in her resignation letter she said, ‘I have today become privy to the findings of the investigation into the allegation made in an online medium that the certificate of exemption from the National Youth Service Corps that I had presented was not genuine’.
“The reality is that that is what she was told at a meeting in the Vice President’s office that there had been an investigation and that the investigation found out that her certificate was not genuine,” the former minister’s brother, Mr Ogun, said on Thursday during an interview in the Arise TV programme, Morning Show.
A Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, was also a guest on the TV programme.
Mr Ogun said neither Mrs Adeosun nor any other person had seen a report of any investigation on the forgery scandal, from the vice president’s office.
He insisted that such a report did not exist.
“So she was told orally that there had been an investigation and that the finding was unfavourable. And it was in response to that statement, which she had no reason to doubt, that she decided that the honourable thing was to resign.
“But where is that investigation report? It does not exist,” he said.
Mr Ogun said he told the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, of which Mrs Adeosun is a member, that there was no investigation report from the Nigerian government on the former minister, when the institute investigated the scandal.
Mrs Adeosun’s suit and the actions taken by her after the court judgement, including her brother’s remarks, is a pointer that the former minister wants to erase the forgery scandal, clear her name and rebuild her image.
Mr Ogun, apart from putting the blame on the vice president’s office, said the NYSC exemption certificate “was procured for her (Adeosun) by the office of the governor of Ogun State who at the time were looking to engage her services as the commissioner for finance for that state”.
Mr Ogun threatened to sue PREMIUM TIMES for the paper’s reports on the former finance minister.
“The government, I am afraid, has a case to answer – let’s see the investigation report, if it exists,” he said of Mr Osinbajo’s office.
When PREMIUM TIMES contacted Mr Osinbajo’s spokesperson, Laolu Akande, on Friday, for comment, he requested that the questions be sent to him via WhatsApp.
Mr Akande, however, did not respond to the questions sent to him.
President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the Secretary to the Government of Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, to investigate Mrs Adeosun’s NYSC exemption certificate, following PREMIUM TIMES persistent reporting on the scandal.
Mr Mustapha wrote to the NYSC authorities and got a response that Mrs Adeosun indeed presented a forged certificate.
Besides Mrs Adeosun being queried by Mr Mustapha, the SGF had sent a report of his investigation to Mr Buhari.
The lawyer, Mr Effiong, in his remarks during the Arise TV interview, said Nigerians deserve to have access to a report of the government investigation into Mrs Adeosun’s forgery scandal.
“I do not see the judgement of the Federal High Court as a vindication because what led to her resignation was the allegation of forgery which she has not been tried for,” Mr Effiong said.