ARE WE LOSING OUR MORAL HIGH GROUNDS?

When you control massive resources even if it is not yours it gives one some aura of power and control. The Small, the Big and the Mighty will always try to be on your side.

The office of the Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic Nigeria is powerful because it has the awesome power to dispense funds to the various arms of governments, individuals and companies, that is why even fellow Ministers are cautious when they speak on matters that affects the Minister.

When the Finance Minister speaks, the big and mighty fall in to line for fear of being strangulated of flow of funds.

If its true that the National Assembly detected that the Minister of Finance submitted fake NYSC certificate and yet she was cleared to hold public office then something must be wrong in the way we are fighting corruption.

Amazingly also is how the Minister waggled her way through all the agencies responsible for vetting individuals that are being prepared to hold public office?

The actions of the NYSC headquarters in trying to sweep the matter under the carpet by not responding to the enquiries of the press to simply determine whether the certificate of exemption used by Minister Finance to secure her employment as minister is fake or not is to say the least disturbing.

In addition the in action by the executive and the failure of the relevant agencies of the state such as the ICPC to wane in to the controversy and do the right thing is regrettable.

The reason why I am saying this is because the law regarding somebody who violates the provisions that establishes the NYSC is so clear and it does not require further interpretation of the courts to apply.

To wit the law states that ;
“The year-long service, organised by the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC), is compulsory for all Nigerians who graduate from universities or equivalent institutions at less than 30 years of age.

In addition to being a requirement for government and private sector jobs in Nigeria, the enabling law prescribes punishment for anyone who absconds from the scheme or forges its certificates.

Eligible Nigerians who skipped the service are liable to be sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and/or N2,000 fine, according to Section 13 of the NYSC law.
Section 13 (3) of the law also prescribes three-year jail term or option of N5,000 fine for anyone who contravenes provision of the law.

ASubsection 4 of the same section also criminalises giving false information or illegally obtaining the agency’s certificate. It provides for up to three-year jail term for such offenders.

The only category of Nigerians are qualified for exemption are those;
1. who graduated after turning 30.
2. holders of national honours;
3. persons who served in the armed forces or the police for up to nine months.
4. staff of intelligence agencies, or the armed forces.

In all these the Hon. Ministers Finance did qualify to be exempted from the one year mandatory period of the NYSC.

Available educational records of the Minister which has not been denied by her or spokes person shows that;
Mrs Adeosun graduated from the Polytechnic of East London in 1989, at the age of 22.

The curriculum vitae, of Mrs Adeosun shows that she was born in March 1967.

Having graduated at 22, it is obligatory for Mrs Adeosun to participate in the one-year national service, for her to qualify for any job in Nigeria.

By this it is indisputable that Minister knows the certificate of NYSC she is holding is fake.

Consequently, for the Minister to say that she was swindled by a third party, whom she requested to handle the exemption request with the NYSC is not only a lie but an abuse to our collective psyche.

Her explanations are therefore disrespectful, absurd, disgraceful and arrant non sense.

The only moral high ground that remains for the Minister is for her to voluntarily resign.

I am saying this because when the Minister was having her running battles with the embattled Director General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, She based her arguments on moral high ground.

She claimed that the DG was involved in activities that are un expected of a public officer. These are some the reasons she gave in suspending the DG;
“ she alleged the DG is a Director in Medusa Investment Limited which is in violation of Public Service Rule 030424.
“ she alleged DG was involved in awarding contracts to the same company and others to which he was related, thus resulting in a conflict of interest”.

So we believe what is “good for goose is good the gander”

Mr. President you must know that the conspiracy theorist are going the round postulating that you refused to act because of the dark clouds hanging over your head on issues bordering certificates forgery.

The third columnist are urging you Mr. President to end this national embarrassment by releasing the signed copy of the Minister’s resignation letter under your custody and end matter.

Mr. President, your body language on the matter is giving agencies of government responsible to handle this case some discomfort in holding the minister accountable for the criminality of her actions.

Mr. President if the Minister in spite of the clear position of the law on her actions still wish to cling to her position. In this regard you may wish to do the needful by sacking the Minister in order come out clean on the matter and remain on the moral high ground.

Any thing short of this will expose the in sincerity of your government in its fight against corruption.

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