Niger Delta

The Alleged Certificate Scandal In NDDC

On her resignation letter dated 14th December, 2018, Nigeria’s immediate past Minister for Finance, Kemi Adeosun, had begun by thanking President Muhammadu Buhari “profusely for the honour and privilege of serving your inspirational leadership”.

However, as the quintessential Adeosun sooner revealed, that letter was, in any way, unfortunate and ominous because of the principal reasons that originally prompted it.

Kemi then stated: “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 the National Youth Service Corps (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”. In her case lawyers appeared to have lost their logic of ignorance not being an execuse in the law.

She accordingly resigned. Having been appointed on November 11, 2015, she served only two year and eight months. Kemi backed out largely because she herself foresaw the case as a lost one, and perhaps had the strongest evidence against herself. So she made it as simple as it looked although very painful considering the steam and promises she held as Finance Minister.

After Adeosun, it’s barely two and half years. Now, just last week, the Transparency and Integrity Crusaders, a civil rights organization, has smelt a rat in the NYSC certificate of the acting Managing Director of the NDDC’s Interim Management Committee, Dr. Joi Nunieh.

The group has alleged that the iron lady is flaunting a fake certificate, prima facie. Hence, the group has importuned the ICPC, DSS, IG and other security agencies to dig into the matter beyond the surface of allegation.

The civil society organization linked their suspicions to why Dr. Nunieh had, on two occasions, refused to appear before the Peter Nwaoboshi-led Senate Committee on NDDC, for the screening that would have expose her credentials or otherwise.

Whereas some had associated Nunieh’s absence at the Senate screening to the lingering crisis that characterized the controversial emergence and existence of the Interim Management Committee at the overt inspiration of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Gidswill Akpabio, others said it merely was one of those things.

Now, there is a curious analogy: Kemi Adeosun case started like a whisper right from when she was serving as a Commissioner in her home town of Ogun. Close observers blamed Kemi for having treated the matter with kid gloves and rather attacking the source directly or indirectly. To them, Adeosun should have looked inwards than put up a show of uncoordinated defense and carefreeness.

Does Dr. Nunieh in the present circumstances, have a strong defence to kill this “rumour” or nib it in the bud before it becomes an inferno? Most worrisome perhaps is the contemplative silence or taciturnity of the IMC boss over the matter. She is yet to talk over the matter.

On the other hand, does Transparency and Integrity Crusaders have the onions for their whistleblowing and also aware of the dire implications of an issue as weighty as this? Could this watch group prove beyond every reasonable doubt that the accused has been enjoying official protection?

It would be funny if a name sitting over a committee spearheading a forensic audit of the NDDC to establish cases of corruption and related malfeasance were to be involved in the case so raised.

While the world awaits the remaining facets of this bombshell, there is the temptation to believe that Dr. Joi Nunieh has  better deal than what “rumour-mongers’ might want Nigerians to believe.

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