#AdeosunGate: Lawyer asks court to sack minister, order salary refund

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A lawyer, Francis Obalim, has sued the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, before the Federal High Court in Abuja, praying for quashing of her appointment for not possessing a valid discharge certificate from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

The suit with number FHC/ABJ/CS/712/2018, was filed by the plaintiff’s counsel, Johnmary Jideobi, on Monday, according to Vanguard.

Following three months of investigation into the certificate scandal, PREMIUM TIMES published details of how the minister skipped the mandatory national service and forged an exemption certificate of the service.

The story has generated outrage from Nigerians who asked the minister to resign from her post or be fired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr Obalim prays for an order quashing and setting aside Mrs Adeosun’s appointment and declaring same as circumvention of Sections 12, 13 and 14 of the NYSC Act which is an integral part of the Nigerian constitution.

Others joined in the suit are the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, the Senate President Bukola Saraki and Clerk of the Senate.

He maintained that Mrs Adeosun who was cited as the 1st defendant in the matter, was not qualified to be employed by the Federal Government of Nigeria either as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or in any other capacity whatsoever, without first presenting a valid discharge certificate issued by the NYSC.

The lawyer therefore seeks for order of perpetual injunction restraining the federal government from further according ministerial status to Mrs Adeosun until she presents a valid certificate of discharge issued by the NYSC.

The plaintiff prayed the court to determine, “Whether upon an intimate reading and complete understanding Sections 12, 13 and 14 of the National Youth Service Corp Act which is an integral part of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, the 1st Defendant is qualified to be employed by the Federal Government of Nigeria either as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or in any other capacity whatsoever without first presenting a valid discharge certificate issued by the National Youth Service Corp?

Another issue for determination is, “Whether the appointment of the 1st Defendant by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria [as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria] and the subsequent confirmation of same by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are not a nullity and therefore liable to be quashed and set aside being acts done in circumvention of a condition precedent and in violation of Sections 12, 13 and 14 of the National Youth Service Corp Act which is an integral part of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended?

Upon determination of the questions, he sought “A declaration of this Honourable Court upon an intimate reading and complete understanding of Sections 12, 13 and 14 of the National Youth Service Corp Act which is an integral part of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, the 1st Defendant is NOT qualified to be employed by the Federal Government of Nigeria either as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or in any other capacity whatsoever without first presenting a valid discharge certificate issued by the National Youth Service Corp.

“A declaration of this Honourable Court that the appointment of the 1st Defendant by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria [as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria] and the subsequent confirmation of same by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are a nullity and therefore liable to be quashed and set aside being acts done in circumvention of a condition precedent and in contravention of mandatory Sections 12, 13 and 14 of the National Youth Service Corp Act which is an integral part of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended?

“An order of this Honourable Court quashing and setting aside the appointment of the 1st Defendant as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria the same being an act done in circumvention of a condition precedent and in contravention of mandatory Sections 12, 13 and 14 of the National Youth Service Corp Act which is an integral part of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended “An order of this Honourable Court quashing and setting aside the confirmation of the 1st Defendant as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria carried out by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria the same being an act done in circumvention of a condition precedent and in contravention of mandatory Sections 12, 13 and 14 of the National Youth Service Corp Act which is an integral part of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

“An order of perpetual injunction of this Honourable Court restraining the Federal Government of Nigeria from further considering, nominating, appointing, screening and or confirming the 1st Defendant as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or any other government position howsoever named or described until she presents a valid certificate of discharge regularly issued by the National Youth Service Corp in view of Sections 12, 13 and 14 of the National Youth Service Corp Act which is an integral part of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended”. Likewise, “An order of this Honourable Court compelling the 1st Defendant to refund FORTHWITH to the Federal Government of Nigeria [through the Treasury Single Account domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria] all the salaries, emoluments, allowances and such other benefits she has enjoyed since her resumption as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2015 up to the point of the filing of the instant suit”.

The paper reports that no date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.

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