An anti-corruption group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, says it has sent a Freedom of Information request to the Director General of the National Youth Service Corps, Sule Kazaure, on the status of the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun.
The group said it wants Mr Kazaure to, within seven days, use his good offices to provide it “information and documents on whether or not Mrs Adeosun applied for NYSC Exemption Certificate, and if she did, to clarify whether the NYSC actually granted her the Exemption Certificate, the circumstances and the provisions of the NYSC Act under which the Exemption Certificate was granted.”
The request by SERAP came on the heels of media allegation that Mrs Adeosun forged an NYSC Exemption Certificate to secure her current job and previous one in Nigeria.
SERAP, in a statement on Thursday, by its Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, said Mrs Adeosun deserved to be given the benefit of the doubt, while awaiting the official reply of the NYSC.
The group said the information it requested from the NYSC DG was important to it, as it would enable it to either compel the Attorney General of the Federation to file criminal charges against Mrs Adeosun or consider private prosecution if the forgery allegation was true.
“By providing information and documents on the Exemption Certificate, the NYSC would help to put an end to any insinuation of complicity and show that the institution can embrace transparency and accountability in the discharge of its statutory mandates. This would in turn contribute to improved integrity and public image of the NYSC.
“Mrs Adeosun remains innocent until the allegations against her are properly tested and proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of competent jurisdiction, based on relevant admissible evidence.
“But the continuing silence by the NYSC management on the matter may create an impression that an offence may have been committed, and lead to the accusation that the management has something to hide.
“We urge you (Kazaure) and the entire NYSC management and leadership to open up on the matter and provide information and documents as requested. This will be one step in the right direction.
“If the information is not provided to us within seven days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter, the Registered Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions under the Freedom of Information Act to compel you to comply with our request.
“SERAP is concerned about the perceived lack of transparency and accountability of the NYSC management and leadership in this matter, which has seriously undermined public trust and confidence in the NYSC as a public institution established to serve the public interests.”