•Insists her silence amounts to betrayal of public trust
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has been urged to “without further delay show responsibility and clear the air over the damaging certificate forgery allegations against her and settle the facts of the case once and for all.”
Lagos-based rights group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), made the call in a statement issued yesterday by its deputy director, Timothy Adewale, in Lagos.It stated that “suspicions of certificate forgery involving a senior member of the government if not urgently and satisfactorily addressed would weaken public trust in the administration’s oft-expressed commitment to transparency and accountability.”
The statement reads in part: “Several days after being accused of forging her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate, Mrs. Adeosun is yet to make any official statement in reaction to the alleged scandal.
“Clarifying the allegations of certificate forgery would show a commitment to doing the right thing and a natural disposition toward openness.“The continued failure and/or refusal to speak to Nigerians on these allegations amounts to a betrayal of public trust. If she can show the courage to clear the air on the allegations, Mrs. Adeosun can be a strong promoter of the values of transparency and accountability something which the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has regularly expressed commitment to embrace and achieve.
“The failure to address the allegations may create public anger and lead to accusation of cover-up. The public can become passive and cynical if it believes that people in positions of public trust are out for themselves. It is the core responsibility of any senior public official to prevent that cynicism.”
SERAP further noted: “When those in positions of public trust refuse to speak up on allegations bordering on certificate forgery, it invariably creates a psychological climate, a moral culture in which citizens are more likely to embrace illegal actions and choose to undertake them.”
The controversial exemption was purportedly signed by a late Director General of the scheme, Brig.-Gen. Yusuf Bomoi, believed to have retired from service eight months earlier. Though the NYSC management acknowledged that the minister applied for the document but was not silent on its issuance.
In a statement by the Director, Press and Publications Relations, Mrs. Adenike Adeyemi, the scheme said it would investigate the matter.Also, the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has summoned the scheme’s Director General, Brigadier General Suleiman Kazaure, to obtain first-hand information, promising to address Nigerians at the completion of inquiries.