Former Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has threatened further court action to redeem her battered image after an Abuja Federal High Court said she did not need the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate to be appointed a minister.
Adeosun, in a statement Wednesday, said the court judgment had vindicated her “after a traumatic spell.”
She also said the court judgment was a victory for many Nigerians in Diaspora who were desirous to serve their fatherland.
Her statement read: “My lawyers have informed me of the judgment by the Federal High Court, Abuja, in the case of Folakemi Adeosun v The Attorney General of the Federation (FHC/ABJ/CS/303/2021) in which the court, presided over by Honourable Justice Taiwo Taiwo, ruled that the constitution does not require me to present my first-degree certificate or any other certificate, including the NYSC certificate, to be appointed a Minister.
“More importantly, he also ruled that I was not eligible to perform NYSC by virtue of the constitution. This is the position I have always maintained and am happy for this official clarification.
“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 thank God, my family, friends, my counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and numerous well-wishers for their love, care and concern throughout this difficult period, which has lasted 3 whole years.
“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.”
Adeosun had resigned her appointment as Minister of Finance following controversy surrounding her NYSC status as she was accused of not participating in the mandatory one-year national service for tertiary institution graduates. She was also accused of presenting a forged NYSC discharged certificate.
She however instituted a suit against the Attorney General of the Federation on her eligibility for the National Youth Service Corps Scheme.
Delivering judgement in Folakemi Adeosun v The Attorney General of the Federation (FHC/ABJ/CS/303/2021) Wednesday, Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, declared that the former finance minister was not eligible to perform national service because she was not a Nigerian citizen under the 1979 Constitution (which did not provide for dual citizenship) which was in force at the time of her graduation in 1989, from a London university, at 22 and when she turned 30, which was the age of exemption from service.
The court held that available facts before it proved that the former minister was a United Kingdom citizen having been born there in 1967 and remained there till 2003 when she came back to Nigeria at 36.
The court also noted that Adeosun, who became a Nigerian citizen by virtue of the 1999 Constitution which came into force on May 29, 1999, was not required by the constitution to present her first-degree certificate or any other certificate, including the NYSC certificate, before she could be appointed as a minister.