19 June 2019

Nigeria: Why SSS Can't Stop Persons With False Credentials From Becoming Ministers - Ex-Director

A former Assistant Director of the Department of State Services, DSS, Dennis Amachree, has spoken on why the agency could not stop the appointment of ministers involved in certificate scandals.

He disclosed this while speaking on Channels TV programme, Sunrise Daily, on Tuesday.

PREMIUM TIMES last year reported how a former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, skipped the National Youth Service Corps and repeatedly used a forged exemption certificate to secure political appointments.

This caused national embarrassment and she was forced to resign after condemnation and pressure from the public.

This newspaper also exposed Adebayo Shittu, former Minister of Communication, who admitted that he never went for the compulsory NYSC programme despite graduating before age of 30.

Mr Shittu was allowed to continue in office and only left when the cabinet was dissolved.

Responding to a question relating to the screening of appointees with dubious credentials by the president on Tuesday, Mr Amachree blamed such appointment on 'political principalities'.

"Some of these things are discovered. The SSS will not tell you this person 'don't take him, this person is fit, take him'. We do intelligence report and submit it to the President. And in the report, I am sure it will be included that this person's certificate is not correct.

"And then of course, in taking a decision, they can overlook that certificate part of it and that is why sometimes you see situations where somebody's certificate is faulty and he has to take a bow.

"There are two different kinds of screening that are being done by the SSS and by the legislators in the Senate. What the SSS does is to do a positive vetting. Positive vetting encompasses the background of the subject where we go in and find out which schools you attended, whether your certificates are correct. It is a normal thing. Companies do it to ensure that the certificate a person is presenting is not a 'Toronto' (fake) one," he said.

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