The presidency has said that the alleged National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate forgery case levelled against the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun is not a corruption matter.
Recall that online newspaper, Premium Times, over a month ago, reported that the minister allegedly forged her NYSC exemption certificate.
Although the minister is yet to respond to the allegation, Chairman of Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Itse Sagay, had said that nothing will make the federal government sack her.
“Let me tell you my reaction. This woman is a brilliant and extremely valuable member of this government. A lot of the good things happening now – the welfare that Nigerians are enjoying and are going to enjoy, because it takes time, and the way our economy is booming, how we got out of recession – are due to her expertise, her commitment, her sacrifice.
“There is nothing in this world that will make me remove such a woman from the government,” he had said.
But Buhari’s presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, said Sagay’s comments were his personal opinion and not the stance of the President, adding that the matter was not a corruption case.
‘It was a personal comment, that is not the position of the Government and Professor Sagay has a right to his opinion.
“It will not be down the aisle of Professor Sagay to advice on that matter because it is not a corruption matter so to speak.”
Section 13 of the NYSC law prescribes punishment for anyone who absconds from the scheme or forges its certificates, while eligible Nigerians who skipped the service are liable to be sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and/or N2, 000 fine.
Section 13 (3) of the law also prescribes three-year jail term or option of N5, 000 fine for anyone who contravenes the provision of the law.
Subsection 4 of the same section also criminalises giving false information or illegally obtaining the agency’s certificate. It provides for up to a three-year jail term for such offenders.