Abuja — The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) not to allow the presidency to coerce it into covering the certificate forgery case against the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, with a purported investigation.
This is coming as a former Director of Mobilisation at the NYSC, Mr. Anthony Ani, wednesday said it was not proper to apply for exemption certificate from the scheme.
The federal government has however, said it had stated its position on the alleged forgery of NYSC certificate by Adeosun.
But the PDP said it was instructive for NYSC to note that all the issues in the news report that Adeosun forged her NYSC Exemption Certificate as well as reports that the presidency was mounting pressure on NYSC to cover up for the minister were already in the public domain.
In a statement issued by the party's National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP said Nigerians were closely monitoring the issue, adding that the public was already aware of pressure on the NYSC leadership to announce a misplacement of relevant files and other excuses to achieve a dead end in the investigation.
"The NYSC must, therefore, know that its reputation is highly at stake as Nigerians are already agitated over the questionable delay by the Corps in coming out with an answer on a direct issue that requires a simple computer or even manual file check at its headquarters.
"Indeed, a simple process of matching the serial numbering, date and authorising signature on Adeosun's certificate does not require a lengthy investigation or the current shenanigan going on at the NYSC headquarters," he said.
"NYSC is advised to have in mind that in this age of global Information Communication Technology (ICT), there is nothing anybody can do to suppress or distort facts, even in the public service. Any attempt to cover up will invoke the wrath of Nigerians and irredeemably rubbish the integrity and respect the Corps has earned over the years," the party said.
PDP further said the NYSC must not allow its reputation to be dragged in the mud by the discredited All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration that has become notorious for concealment of fraud and sharp practices by its officials.
In a related development, a former Director of Mobilisation at the NYSC, Mr. Anthony Ani, yesterday said it was not proper to apply for exemption certificate from the scheme.
Speaking on Sunrise Daily, a breakfast programme on Channels Television, Ani said prospective corps members only present their credentials.
He said it is the corps that determines if a graduate would be exempted or undergo the one-year programme.
Ani said applying for any certificate from NYSC is alien to the corps.
When asked under what circumstances, first, can you apply for exemption (from youth service)?, Ani said: "First and foremost, I have to comment based on what I saw, the documents I saw, and if those documents were the documents claimed to have been submitted, I want to emphatically say no, they wouldn't have emanated from the NYSC. One is that it is important for Nigerians to know the process of mobilisation in the NYSC," he said.
"Section 2 of the NYSC Act, which incidentally is embedded in the constitution, under Section 315, states categorically that once you graduate, you are supposed to make yourself available for mobilisation. And you don't apply for either NYSC certificate or NYSC certificate of national service or certificate of exemption, you present yourself for mobilisation," he added.
But answering question from journalists in the State House after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday, the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said in as much as the NYSC, which he described as part and parcel of the government had spoken on the matter, the government had equally spoken and had nothing more to add.
"The government has spoken. NYSC is part of government and I have nothing to add to what the NYSC has said," he said.
Meanwhile, the FEC wednesday approved N35.613 billion for various road and bridge projects in different parts of the country.
Briefing journalists at the end of FEC meeting, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said N8.9 billion was approved for the construction of Ikom road and bridge in Calabar, Cross River State.
According to him, both the road and the bridge which he said would be completed within 24 months, would create access to the port and also enhance free movement of trucks and containers.
Fashola also disclosed that N11.78 billion and N8.6 billion, respectively, were approved for road projects in Yobe State and Kwara State.
The minister also said N5.4 billion was approved for road projects in Abia State while another N933 million was approved for automatic meter reading equipment for Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).