The Oasis Reporters
July 10, 2018
In the Nigerian parlance, we know that Mrs Kemi Adeosun has gone too far in her career and especially in her ‘service’ to the government of Buhari, too far to now have to answer for a crime she allegedly committed in 2009. Though crimes don’t have expiry dates in the eye of justice, the cost of allowing the truth about this alleged crime of forgery to fester is too enormous for the ambition of Buhari and the mafia.
If this allegation should be verified by the National Youth Service Corp, NYSC, it will implicate the Federal Government, not just because the F.G. gave a ministerial appointment to someone who skipped the mandatory national youth service when she was liable for call-up, thereby contravening a Nigerian law, but more because the F.G. will be deemed to have known the woman forged a certificate and had kept mute over it and covered her up.
This is not good for the reputation of Buhari the integrity legend and APC the clearer of ‘mess’.
More so that it took six whole months before Buhari got the cerebral minister. The only way to avoid this smear of government’s complicity in the minister’s falsehood is to claim that Buhari and the agencies of Government to whom the minister submitted her credentials, such as the DSS, did not detect the discrepancy. This can only deal a rancorous knell on the credibility of the government. None of the two options is good for the party.
So in order to prevent the calamities of admitting this crime of forgery, the authority must find a way to validate Madam minister’s exemption, excuse hers as a peculiar case, and maybe, begin the process of a bill that will amend the NYSC law.
But the authority will have to deal with the difficult mess of doing two grave wrongs with impunity.
One, it will have to grant this exemption retroactively. For importantly, under the existing law, there is no way someone who graduated at the age of 22 can be exempted 20 years later, on the ground of age. So, it’s a hard job for the NYSC to explain the principle by which someone has the special right to jump the obligation of making herself available for service, for 8 whole years, and now ask and be granted exemption on the ground of age only 12 years after. 2009, the year the exemption was purportedly granted was 20 years after the minister graduated from the Polytechnic/University of East London.
Therefore, either the exemption did not originate from the NYSC or it originated from it in a criminal way. None of the alternatives is OK. So the authority must find a way of awarding an exemption retroactively. This means they will award the exemption a few years back, but on a present date. Normally, people get exempted right after graduation if they meet the requirements provided in Section 2 of the enabling law, among which is age that the minister allegedly claimed. So authority will have to award an exemption dated around 1990 (when the person in question was 23). Government can do it. The man in charge has a record of retroactive law and punishment in his 1983 junta.
But the magic that will work better is for the authority to specially exempt the minister in accordance with section 17 of the NYSC Act, which allows the Directorate to “exempt ANY person from all or any of the provisions of this Act,”—retroactively too! And since this provision requires the Directorate to get the approval of the National Defence and Security Council, by an order published in the Gazette, the authority will get the approval retroactively and publish the order in the Gazette retroactively. In other words, they will fulfil the requirement of law today, but it will start working from the past.
Since her exemption must predate all her employments in Nigeria, which began presumably sometime around 2002 when she came to Nigeria, authority will have to make her exemption valid since 2002, so authority must exempt her retroactively.
More importantly, the authority will have to contend with how this woman is different from other citizens that makes Nigeria deserve a tyranny for her sake.