Despite yet-to-be controverted evidence showing that Nigeria’s finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, forged her National Youth Service Corps scheme exemption certificate, the Nigeria Police Force is yet to begin investigation into the scandal.
The officers, however, have swiftly commenced investigations into a similar scandal involving Ademola Adeleke, the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party governorship candidate in Osun State.
Mr Adeleke, the senator currently representing Osun West in the National Assembly, is alleged to have forged his secondary school certificate.
The senator is also alleged to have falsified his certificate of graduation from Jacksonville State University in Alabama, United States of America.
Last week, the police invited Abass Khalib, the principal of Ede Muslim High School 1 where Mr Adeleke finished from, for investigation over the issuance of the alleged forged statement of result and testimonial to the senator.
On Sunday, Mr Adeleke said the principal’s arrest was politically-motivated and demanded his release.
But while the drama continued to play out in Osun State ahead of the September gubernatorial election, nothing has happened at the federal level where the finance minister is accused of a similar scandal but has chosen to ignore Nigerians.
It is still unclear why the police have yet to act on Mrs Adeosun’s alleged certificate forgery allegations.
Days after the scandal broke, Jimoh Moshood, the Nigeria police spokesperson, speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, said the police were not aware of the scandal.
When contacted on Monday, Mr Moshood said he would return the call later. He did not and subsequent phone calls to his line were not answered.
On July 7, PREMIUM TIMES exposed how Mrs Adeosun, who was appointed a federal minister by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, skipped the mandatory NYSC scheme after graduating at age 22.
The NYSC scheme is compulsory for all Nigerians who obtain their first degrees under the age of 30.
The corps’ only response to the scandal was a statement saying that Mrs Adeosun did apply for the document but that it would “investigate the origin of the purported Exemption Certificate in question”.
The Nigerian government’s silence in the aftermath of the scandal has continued to generate a heated public reaction with civil society organisations calling for an investigation into the matter as well as the minister’s reaction.
Last month, the Human and Environmental Development Agenda petitioned the Inspector General of Police demanding an investigation into the scandal.
Last week, another organisation, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project sent a Freedom of Information request to Sule Kazaure, the NYSC Director-General, asking him to “urgently provide information on specific details and documents on the purported exemption certificate granted to Mrs Adeosun” within seven days.
The seven-day ultimatum expires on today, August 9.
By Ben Ezemalu, Premium Times