Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has given National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) seven days to clarify its exemption certificate forgery allegations leveled against Nigeria's finance minster, Kemi Adeosun.
An online newspaper, Premium Times earlier claimed the minister forged her NYSC exemption certificate. But the minister is yet to respond to the certificate forgery allegation.
SERAP in a freedom of information request to NYSC Director-General, Brigadier-General Sule Kazaure demands he “use his good offices and leadership position to urgently provide information on specific details and documents on the Exemption Certificate granted to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun”.
It also ask NYSC “to provide information and documents on whether Mrs Adeosun applied for NYSC Exemption Certificate, and if she did, to clarify whether the NYSC actually granted her the Exemption Certificate, the circumstances and the provisions of the NYSC Act under which the Exemption Certificate was granted”.
While stating the need of providing the information to determine whether forgery has was committed, SERAP urged the Nigeria's justice minister Abubakar Malami (SAN), to pursue prosecution or invite a private prosecution to step into the matter.
“By providing information and documents on the Exemption Certificate, the NYSC would help put an end to any insinuation of complicity and show that the institution can embrace transparency and accountability in the discharge of its statutory mandates. This would in turn contribute to improved integrity and public image of the NYSC.”
“This will be one step in the right direction. If the information is not provided to us within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter, the Registered Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions under the Freedom of Information Act to compel you to comply with our request,” SERAP Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale said in the FOI request.
However SERAP said Adeosun remains innocent until the allegations against her are properly tested and proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of competent jurisdiction based on relevant admissible evidence.
It added that the continuing silence by the NYSC management on the matter may create an impression that an offence may have been committed, and lead to accusation that the management has something to hide.