How Nigeria’s Finance Minister was forced to resign over forged certificate
Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, on Friday resigned her appointment from President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. The journey into resignation started on Wednesday, with an order for her to resign.
Impeccable sources told PREMIUM TIMES the minister was barred from the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting and told to submit her resignation to the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.
The verbal instruction, which was relayed to her by Mr Kyari on behalf of the president, rattled Mrs Adeosun who went home downcast from the villa.
“She has been downcast and at home since she was given the order,” a source close to her told PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday.
The option of resignation was handed the minister as a way of giving her an opportunity to salvage whatever remained of her integrity.
A leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, also reportedly advised President Buhari to ask the minister to resign.
That was, however, not done before the president left for London on vacation in July.
At least two officials who met with Mr Buhari around the time confided in PREMIUM TIMES that the president assured them that he was consulting before taking action.
“He said he spoke to about seven persons, including the Ogun State governor who brought her, to seek advise on the way out,” a chief executive of one federal agency told PREMIUM TIMES at the time.
After the communication of the presidential decision to her on Wednesday, Mrs Adeosun knew the game was up. But she soon activated an intense lobby to reverse the order hours after overcoming the initial shock.
Governors sympathetic to her cause made spirited attempts to change her fate on Wednesday, but met brick walls.
Seeing that her fate was sealed, Mrs Adeosun reluctantly called a meeting of senior finance ministry officials on Thursday.
A senior ministry official who requested that his name should not be revealed, as he was not authorised to speak on the issue, said the minister turned in her resignation letter late Friday.
At the brief meeting Thursday afternoon, Mrs Adeosun directed her staff to commence the process of tidying the books and preparing her hand-over note.
The meeting was attended by the permanent secretary and the ministry’s departmental heads.
Two senior finance ministry officials said there was directive to all the departments to immediately begin work on the hand over notes.
The official said the directive to officials to delay the formal announcement of Mrs Adeosun’s departure from the Executive Council of the Federation was given by the presidency to allow the minister sufficient time to complete her hand-over note.
After spending the entire day in her office working to clean up her table and pack her personal belongings, the minister handed over to the ministry’s permanent secretary, Mahmoud Dutse, Friday evening.
But in its statement late Friday, the presidency directed the minister of state for budget and planning, Zainab Ahmed, to oversee the finance ministry.
Mrs Adeosun graduated from the Polytechnic of East London in 1989, at the age of 22, having been born in March 1967.
Having graduated at 22, the Nigerian law made it obligatory for Mrs Adeosun to submit herself for mobilisation to participate in the one-year mandatory national service, for her to qualify for any job in Nigeria.
Following the report, the NYSC in its initial reaction disowned the purported exemption certificate the minister claimed she had.
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Days later, the NYSC asked for time to investigate and carry out verification of the minister’s certificate.
The result of that verification was never made public but PREMIUM TIMES learnt it played a key role in Mrs Adeosun’s exit.
In resigning her appointment, the disgraced Minister, in her letter to Buhari, wrote as follows:
Let me commence by thanking you profusely for the honour and privilege of serving under your inspirational leadership. It has been a truly rewarding experience to learn from you and to observe at close quarters your integrity and sense of duty.
“I have, today, become privy to the findings of the investigation into the allegation made in an online medium that the Certificate of Exemption from National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) that I had presented was not genuine. This has come as a shock to me and I believe that in line with this administration’s focus on integrity, I must do the honourable thing and resign.
“Your Excellency, kindly permit me to outline some of the background to this matter. I was born and raised in the United Kingdom, indeed my parental family home remains in London. My visits to Nigeria up until the age of thirty-four (34) were holidays, with visas obtained in my UK passport. I obtained my first Nigerian passport at the age of thirty-four (34) and when I relocated there was debate as to whether NYSC Law applied to me. Upon enquiry as to my status relating to NYSC, I was informed that due to my residency history and having exceeded the age of thirty (30), I was exempted from the requirement to serve. Until recent events, that remained my understanding.
“On the basis of that advice and with the guidance and assistance of those, I thought were trusted associates, NYSC were approached for documentary proof of status. I then received the certificate in question. Having never worked in NYSC, visited the premises, been privy to nor familiar with their operations, I had no reason to suspect that the certificate was anything but genuine. Indeed, I presented that certificate at the 2011 Ogun State House of Assembly and in 2015 for Directorate of State Services (DSS) Clearance as well as to the National Assembly for screening. Be that as it may, as someone totally committed to a culture of probity and accountability I have decided to resign with effect from Friday, 14th September, 2018.
“Your Excellency, It has been an exceptional privilege to have served our nation under your leadership and to have played a role in steering our economy at a very challenging time. I am proud that Nigeria has brought discipline into its finances, has identified and is pursuing a path to long term sustainable growth that will unlock the potential in this great economy. Under your leadership, Nigeria was able to exit recession and has now started to lay the foundations for lasting growth and wealth creation. Repositioning this huge economy is not a short term task and there are no short cuts, indeed there are tough decisions still to be made but I have no doubt that your focus on infrastructural investment, revenue mobilisation and value for money in public expenditure will deliver growth, wealth and opportunity for all Nigerians.
“I thank His Excellency, the Vice President and my colleagues in the Federal Executive Council for the huge pleasure and honour of working with them. I also thank most specially, the team in the ‘Finance Family’ of advisers and heads of agencies under the Ministry of Finance. Your Excellency, this group of committed Nigerians represent a range of backgrounds, ethnicities and ages. They have worked well above and beyond the call of duty to support me in the tasks assigned. The diversity in my team and their ability to work cohesively to deliver reforms, convinces me that Nigeria has the human capital required to succeed.
“Your Excellency, let me conclude by commending your patience and support, during the long search for the truth in this matter. I thank you again for giving me the honour of serving under your leadership, it is a rare privilege, which I do not take for granted. As a Nigerian and committed progressive, I appreciate you for your dogged commitment to improving this nation.
Please be assured, as always, of my highest regards and best wishes.”
Kemi Adeosun (Mrs)
Algeria, Sierra Leone get non-permanent seat at UN Security Council
Algeria and Sierra Leone, have been elected as non-permanent members of the the United Nations’ Security Council for 2024-2025.
The two countries are part of the ten countries elected for two years in the Council outside the five power bloc countries— the United States, China, Russia, France and the United Kingdom.
The countries replace Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana and the United Arab Emirates and will join Ecuador, Japan, Malta, Mozambique and Switzerland who were elected last year.
For Sierra Leone, it’s a return to the council after 53 years. Its Foreign Minister, David Francis said it was “a great day for this small, progressive and confident country…which has successfully transitioned from war to peace.”
Guyana and South Korea were also elected unchallenged while Slovenia handily beat Belarus for the only contested seat.
An official of rights agency, Human Rights Watch, Louis Charbonneau remarked that “the vote in the General Assembly shows why a competition for UN elections is essential” after Slovenia edged Belarus for the seat going to Eastern Europe and obtained 153 votes, against 38 in Belarus.
“UN member states have undoubtedly decided that Belarus’ grave human rights violations at home and attempts to cover up Russian atrocities in Ukraine disqualify it from serving on the Security Council, a crucial body for ensuring human rights. humans,” he added.
Algeria got 184 votes, South Korea 180 votes, Sierra Leone 188 votes and Guyana 191 in a single candidate votes for four seat reserved for Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America/Caribbean.
There has been a long debate about the place of Africa in international relations. At the inception of the United Nations, only four independent African countries represented the continent when 50 representatives of different countries met in San Francisco, California, in 1945 to complete the Charter of the United Nations.
South Africa: Opposition, DA want findings on alleged arms supply to Russia public
South African opposition party, the Democratic Alliance has vowed to challenge the decision by the presidency to keep from the public, findings from recent arm supply allegations.
The follows allegations by United States Ambassador, Reuben Brigety that South Africa provided ammunition to Russia by ship. Brigety said the US was sure that contrary to its public claim of being non-aligned in the Russia/Ukraine crisis, South Africa supplied arms to Vladimir Putin’s army in December.
Following the allegation, President Ramaphosa launched an investigation to be conducted by an independent body which will be led by retired Deputy Justice Phineas Mojapelo, advocate Leah Gcabashe, and former justice minister Enver Surty. Meanwhile, his spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya said the government would withhold the panel’s findings.
Magwenya said the terms of reference for the inquiry would not be gazetted or published.
“The investigation covers issues of national security and classified information, which is protected from disclosure,” he said.
“This inquiry has been instituted in a similar manner to the inquiry that investigated the July 2021 riots in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng and the value of its report remains unchallenged.
“The panel will be supported in gathering the information that is necessary to fulfil its mandate by letters from the president instructing all relevant government entities as identified by the panel to cooperate fully with the panel or face disciplinary sanction,” he said.
“The work of the panel will not be public, nor will its report be made public. The president will speak to any actions that may result with respect to national security. This is provided for within our secrecy laws as per the nature of this matter,” he added.
In a statement, the DA said it would not ” leave this secrecy unchallenged. We have already submitted an application under the Promotion of Access to Information Act to obtain a copy of the panel’s terms of reference. And we are obtaining legal advice to challenge Ramaphosa’s plan to hide the report once it is complete.”
The party leader, John Steenhuisen argued that keeping the report private “undermines the ability of prosecutors and the public to hold guilty parties accountable for any such violations of the law”.
“Hiding this report from public view will rob the people of South Africa – and of the world – of the opportunity to see the full facts of this matter.
“Refusing to disclose the complete picture of how the ANC-led government allegedly smuggled weapons to arm Russia’s war in Ukraine and various parts of Africa will also undermine the very purpose of the investigation.”
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