07 July 2021 By Victoria Abah.
A Federal High Court in Abuja has said, the former Minister of Finance Mrs. Kemi Adeosun was ineligible for national service.
The court noted that she was not supposed to present herself for National Youth Service, because under the 1979 Constitution which was in force at the time of her graduation, she was not a Nigerian citizen either at the time of her graduation or when she turned 30.
Delivering judgment in a suit filed by Chief Wole Olanipekun, on her behalf, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, held that the constitution does not require her to present her first-degree certificate or any other certificate, including the NYSC, to be appointed a Minister.
It also held that Nigerian citizenship only reverted under extant constitution and by that time Adeosun was well above 30 and ineligible to participate in the NYSC scheme as it is exclusively reserved for Nigerians.
The Judge also declared that the plaintiff is not under any constitutional disability, disadvantage, prohibition, inhibition or disqualification to hold any office as member or Chairman of any of the State Executive or Federal Executive bodies established by the Constitution or otherwise, on the ground that she did not participate in the National Youth Service Corps scheme, established by the National Youth Service Corps Act, CAP N84, LFN 2004.
Other declarations by the court is that the plaintiff cannot be subjected to any penalty, forfeiture or put under any encumbrance in relation to her occupation or assumption of any of the following public offices, created by the Constitution, to wit: membership of the House of Assembly of a State, a Commissioner in the State Executive Council; Governor of a State, member of the National Assembly; Minister in the Federal Executive Council, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, membership of any of the States or Federal Executive bodies, established by the Constitution or otherwise, on the ground that she did not participate in the National Youth Service Corps scheme, established by the National Youth Service Corps Act, CAP N84, LFN 2004.
Justice Taiwo further declared that the plaintiff, being a United Kingdom Citizen as at 1989 when she graduated from the University of East London, London, United Kingdom, at the age of 22 years, was ineligible to participate in the National Youth Service Corps Scheme, established by the National Youth Service Corps Act, CAP N84, LFN 2004.
Adeosun resigned as Finance Minister in 2018 on allegations that her NYSC discharge certificate was forged.