A constitutional lawyer, Mr. Francis Obalim, has asked the Federal High Court, Abuja, to sack the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, from public office over alleged lack of valid National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharge certificate.
In a suit, the plaintiff is seeking court order, quashing and setting aside Adeosun’s appointment as a minister, claiming that it circumvents a condition precedent and contravenes mandatory Sections 12, 13 and 14 of the NYSC Act, which is an integral part of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
Obalim claims that Adeosun, the first defendant in the matter, was not qualified to be employed by the Federal Government, either as a minister or in any other capacity whatsoever, without first presenting a valid discharge certificate issued by the NYSC.
The plaintiff, through his counsel, Mr. Johnmary Jideobi, is also seeking an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the Federal Government from further according a ministerial status to the Adeosun, pending when she presents a valid certificate of discharge issued by the NYSC.
He is urging the court to compel the first defendant to refund forthwith to the Federal Government, through the Treasury Single Account (TSA), domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria, all the salaries, emoluments, allowances and such other benefits she had enjoyed since her resumption as a minister in 2015.
Other defendants in the mater include the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Clerk of the Senate.
The plaintiff is particularly praying the court to determine:
• whether upon an intimate reading and complete understanding of Sections 12, 13 and 14 of the National Youth Service Corp Act, which is an integral part of the 1999 Constitution as amended, Adeosun was qualified to be employed by the Federal Government either as a minister or in any other capacity whatsoever without first presenting a valid NYSC discharge certificate; and
• whether the appointment of the first defendant as a minister, and the subsequent confirmation of the same by the Senate were not a nullity and, therefore, liable to be quashed.
Obalim is praying the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Federal Government from further considering, nominating, appointing, screening and or confirming the first defendant as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or any other government position howsoever named or described until she presents a valid NYSC certificate.
No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit. Meanwhile, the NYSC has commenced investigations into the allegation that Adeosun forged an exemption certificate many years after graduation.
NYSC Director of Press and Public Relations, Adeyemi Adenike, who disclosed this in a statement yesterday in Abuja, said the scheme would investigate the origin of the purported exemption certificate.
Adenike said while checking its records, the scheme established that the minister actually applied for an exemption certificate. NYSC, however, failed to clarify whether the certificate was issued to Adeosun or declined.The scheme also failed to include the date when the minister applied for the certificate.