''Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, allegedly skipped NYSC and forged her discharge certificate'' Premium Times reports

Premium Times published a report alleging
that Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun,
forged her NYSC certificate and that
she allegedly never participated in the

year mandatory scheme. Read the report as
published by Premiumtimes below

Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Kemi
Adeosun, did not participate in the
mandatory one-year national youth
service scheme. Instead, she forged
an exemption certificate many years
after graduation, PREMIUM TIMES can
authoritatively report.
The year-long service, organised by
the National Youths Service Corps
(NYSC), is compulsory for all Nigerians
who graduate from universities or
equivalent institutions at less than 30
years of age.
In addition to being a requirement for
government and private sector jobs in
Nigeria, the enabling law prescribes
punishment for anyone who absconds
from the scheme or forges its
Eligible Nigerians who skipped the
service are liable to be sentenced to
12 months imprisonment and/or
N2,000 fine, according to Section 13
of the NYSC law.
Section 13 (3) of the law also
prescribes three-year jail term or
option of N5,000 fine for anyone who
contravenes provision of the law as
Mrs Adeosun has done.
Subsection 4 of the same section also
criminalises giving false information or
illegally obtaining the agency’s
certificate. It provides for up to three-
year jail term for such offenders.
Mrs Adeosun’s official credentials
obtained by PREMIUM TIMES show
that the minister parades a purported
NYSC exemption certificate, which
was issued in September 2009,
granting her exemption from the
mandatory service on account of age.

Mrs Adeosun graduated from the
Polytechnic of East London in 1989, at
the age of 22. According to her
curriculum vitae, Mrs Adeosun was
born in March 1967.
The institution changed name to
University of East London in 1992. Mrs
Adeosun has her certificate issued in
the new name.
Having graduated at 22, it is obligatory
for Mrs Adeosun to participate in the
one-year national service, for her to
qualify for any job in Nigeria.
However, at the time of her
graduation, the young Folakemi
Oguntomoju, as she then was, did not
return to Nigeria to serve her
Upon graduation in 1989, the Applied
Economics graduate pursued fast-
paced career in the British public and
private sectors.
She first landed a job at British
Telecoms but left after a year to join
Goodman Jones, an accounting and
investment firm, as audit officer. She
served there till 1993.
In 1994, Mrs Adeosun joined London
Underground Company as Internal
Audit Manager, before switching to
Prism Consulting, a finance firm,
where she worked between 1996 until
In 2000, Mrs Adeosun was hired by
PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she
worked for two years.
When she eventually returned to
Nigeria in 2002, Mrs Adeosun still did
not deem it necessary to participate in
the NYSC scheme. She simply
accepted a job offer at a private firm,
Chapel Hill Denham.
However, ostensibly concerned that
she might run into trouble for skipping
the mandatory scheme, Mrs Adeosun,
sometime in 2009, procured a fake
exemption certificate.
The NYSC does not issue exemption
certificate to anyone who, like the
minister, graduates before turning 30,
top officials of the scheme familiar
with the matter told PREMIUM TIMES.
Mrs Adeosun’s ‘certificate’ is dated
September 9, 2009, and was
purportedly signed by Yusuf Bomoi, a
former director-general of the corps.
Officials said Mr. Bomoi stepped down
from the NYSC in January 2009, and
could not have signed any certicate for
the corps eight months after. The
retired brigadier general passed on in
September 2017.

Using that fake certificate, Mrs
Adeosun went on to clinch high-profile
jobs at Quo Vadis Partnerships
(managing director), Ogun State
Government (commissioner for
finance), and Federal Government of
Nigeria (minister of finance).
By the provision of Section 12 of the
NYSC Act, employers must demand
NYSC certificates from prospective
employees. The law also mandates
employees to present only genuine
certificates for that purpose.
Section 12 of the Act reads:
“For the purposes of employment
anywhere in the Federation and before
employment, it shall be the duty of
every prospective employer to demand
and obtained from any person who
claims to have obtained his first
degree at the end of the academic
year 1973-74 or, as the case may be,
at the end of any subsequent
academic year the following:-
a. a copy of the Certificate of National
Service of such person issued
pursuant to section 11 of this Decree
b. a copy of any exemption certificate
issued to such person pursuant to
section 17 of this Decree
c. such other particulars relevant there
to as may be prescribed by or under
this Decree.”
A lawyer, Sagir Gezawa, described jobs
Mrs Adeosun has had in Nigeria as
“The combined effect of sections 12
and 13 of the NYSC Act is that it is
illegal to hire a person who graduated
but failed to make himself or herself
available to serve, or falsify any
document to the effect that he or she
has served or exempted from serving.”
However, without demanding or
verifying the veracity of the certificate
presented by Mrs Adeosun, two
Nigerian companies, the Ogun State
Government and the Federal
Government of Nigeria employed her
at various times.
On becoming governor in 2011,
Ibikunle Amosun nominated her into
his cabinet. She proceeded to serve
as commissioner of finance for four
In November 2015, Mrs Adeosun was
sworn in as minister by President
Muhammadu Buhari, and assigned the
all-important finance ministry, after a
supposed security and Senate
The State Security Service, charged
with vetting appointees to top
government positions, failed to detect
that her NYSC certificate was fake.
The Senate, which received the fake
certificate as part of the documents
Mrs Adeosun submitted for her
confirmation hearing, detected the
discrepancy, PREMIUM TIMES
But it nonetheless proceeded to clear
her for the top office. Those familiar
with the matter said the leadership of
the National Assembly used that
information to blackmail and extort
Mrs Adeosun for years.

We investigated Mrs Adeosun’s so-
called NYSC certificate for months,
determining eventually that it is fake.
“This one is an Oluwole certificate,” a
top official of the corps said after we
showed him a copy of the document.
“We did not issue it and we could not
have issued it.” Oluwole is a location
in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos,
where fraudsters possess an amazing
dexterity in the act of forging all kinds
of documents.
Several current and former officials of
the scheme told this paper that the
NYSC would never issue an exemption
certificate to anyone who graduated
before age 30 and did not fall into the
categories of persons exempted by
the corps’ enabling Act.
By that law, there are four categories
of Nigerians eligible for exemption
certificates. The first are those who
graduated after turning 30. The second
are holders of national honours. The
third are persons who served in the
armed forces or the police for up to
nine months. The last category are
staff of intelligence agencies, or the
armed forces.
Therefore, having graduated at 22, and
with no record of national honours or
service in the intelligence or armed
forces, Mrs Adeosun is not qualified
for exemption, officials said.
Yet, the so-called exemption
certificate she holds gave age as the
reason for her exemption.
“This is not the size of our exemption
certificate,” another top official of the
corps remarked when shown a copy of
the minister’s ‘certificate’. “The
calligraphy is also different”.
On another day, another staff
questioned the genuineness of the
‘certificate’ based on the font of the
serial number.
“Look at this, look at this other one,
the numbering is different,” the staff
said while comparing Mrs Adeosun’s
certificate with a genuine one on file.
Mrs Adeosun’s name also failed to
pop up during multiple checks of the
exemption certificates registers kept
by the corps, officials said.
One official, who perused the register
recently, noted that the sequence of
serial numbers for certificates issued
in 2009 did not correspond to that in
Mrs Adeosun’s purported certificate.
The signature on the ‘certificate’ is
also suspect. As indicated earlier in
this report, it was purportedly signed
by an official who left the corps eight
months before the document was
made. One official described that
claim as “barefaced lie and total

PREMIUM TIMES reported Friday how
the certificate scandal was turned into
a tool for blackmail by a National
Assembly cartel that used it to coerce
the finance minister to keep releasing
funds to the lawmaking arm.
Some federal lawmakers revealed to
this paper that the discrepancy was
detected by the Senate during the
minister’s confirmation hearing. But
rather than probe the issue, they
turned it into a tool against Mrs
The report linked the certificate
scandal to the minister’s excessive,
even illegal, funding of the lawmakers,
including recently funnelling
a N10billion largesse to that arm of

Although several of its officials
informally cooperated with our
reporters in the course of this
investigation, the NYSC leadership
declined to respond to our official
We first sent a letter to Director-
General Sule Kazaure (brigadier-
general) requesting him to help
determine the authenticity or
otherwise of the minister’s
After we received no response for
several weeks, we sent in a Freedom
of Information request on the matter.
Weeks after, we are still waiting for
Insiders say authorities of the corps
have been under severe pressure in
the past weeks not to respond to our
One of our reporters also requested a
reaction from Oluyinka Akintunde, the
spokesperson to Mrs Adeosun, who
was briefed on the outcome of our
investigations. He is yet to send a
response to our inquiry.
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