Unfortunately, the kind of danger Adeosun has found herself in is one that has the capacity to make her fall from grace. May the gods save her!
There is no gainsaying the fact that the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, will now be more preoccupied with thoughts about how to preserve her integrity and public career than the Nigerian economy.
Ordinarily, all her energy at the moment ought to be focused on how to resolve the logjam at the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), which its third consecutive meeting in a month over alleged under remittance by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) ended in a stalemate last Thursday and consequently suspended indefinitely.
But how to wriggle out of the NYSC Exemption Certificate forgery allegation against her would definitely get more of her attention now in spite of the fact that many federal and state governments workers would have to go hungry as their June salaries would not be paid until the issue is resolved. Nevertheless, it is natural with man to first pull himself out of danger zone before seeking to save another one. Unfortunately, the kind of danger Adeosun has found herself in is one that has the capacity to make her fall from grace. May the gods save her!
An online news portal, Premium Times, had in a recent investigative report alleged that the minister failed to undertake the mandatory one-year national service. Having graduated at 22, she was alleged
to have fraudulently obtained an Exemption Certificate at 42 in violation of the NYSC Establishment Act. Adeosun has not personally reacted to the allegation, but the NYSC has confirmed that she did apply for an Exemption Certificate. “Our attention has been drawn to the issue of the alleged forgery of an NYSC Exemption Certificate by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun. Checking our records, Mrs Adeosun did apply for an Exemption Certificate. We shall investigate the origin of the purported Exemption Certificate in question,” NYSC’s Director in charge of Press and Public Relations, Mrs Adeyemi Adenike, said in a terse statement last Monday.
Nonetheless, NYSC did not categorically state that it issued an Exemption Certificate to Adeosun. And applying for a certificate is quite different from being issued with one. So, the authenticity of Adeosun’s NYSC Exemption Certificate is still in question and that leaves her fate in the balance. In the end, she would be justified or condemned; vilified or commended. If justified, she will join the ranks of prominent Nigerians who were caught momentarily in the web of certificate scandals, but had the last laugh. And her accusers would go and hide their faces in shame. She might even charge them for libel if she chooses. But if it is proven that the certificate in question was printed, signed and stamped at Oluwole, a location in Lagos, where all kinds of documents are dexterously forged, the reverse would be the case; and she would queue behind the likes of erstwhile Speaker of the House of Representatives, Salisu Buhari, whose way to the lower chamber of the National Assembly (NASS) was fraught with forgeries, but was exposed, leading to his resignation from office and ouster from the NASS. A forlorn Buhari then had apologised to his family, friends and the nation, saying: “I was misled in error by my zeal to serve the nation.” In spite of the apology, he has been living in infamy since then. It is hoped that Adeosun’s desire to serve Nigeria, which threw her to limelight would not backfire to bring her odium and doom.
Born in 1967 in London, England to Nigerian parents from Ogun State, Adeosun earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of East London and a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Financial Management from the University of London. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in 1994.
She commenced her career as an accounting assistant at British Telecom, London, from 1989 till 1990, after which she moved to Goodman Jones, London, working as a Senior Audit Officer from 1990 till 1993. She became Manager of Internal Audit at London Underground, London and Prism Consulting from 1994 till 2000 before joining PriceWaterhouseCoopers, London, as Senior Manager from 2000 till 2002. In 2002, Adeosun became Financial Controller at Chapel Hill Denham Management and subsequently, Managing Director in 2010. After working with Quo Vadis Partnership as Managing Director in 2010 and 2011, she was appointed the Commissioner of Finance in Ogun State from 2011 till 2015. She has been serving as the Minister of Finance since November 11, 2015.