A former Director of Mobilisation at the National Youth Service Corps, (NYSC), Anthony Ani, says the certificate of exemption purportedly issued by the NYSC to the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, is fake.
Ani made the statement during an interview on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Wednesday.
He said, “The NYSC cannot issue that kind of certificate. Yes, the one reported by Premium Times. We could not have issued that type.”
The past NYSC director, who was in charge of deployment of corps members, said Brig. Gen. M. I Tsiga was the Director-General of the NYSC in September 2009 but curiously, it was Brig. Gen. Yusuf Bomoi, who purportedly signed the one belonging to the minister.
Ani added, “The certificate that I saw, that one that I saw if it is the one that they are talking about, the one I saw online, it was not issued by NYSC. I don’t know who issued it. It was not issued by NYSC because what I saw there, the signatory to that certificate was our DG (Gen. Bomoi) who left in January and Gen. Tsiga took over from Gen Bomoi.
“Tsiga was a sitting DG even as of that September 2009. So, I don’t know where her certificate came from but NYSC cannot make that kind of mistake. The NYSC that I served, I know can never make that kind of mistake.”
He said it was impossible for the NYSC to have issued a certificate of exemption to someone who graduated below the age of 30.
Ani maintained that the only persons exempted from service were those who had served in the police, military or graduated above the age of 30.
The former NYSC director said a person who was 60 years of age would be made to serve if he or she graduated below the age of 30.
He added, “If you are above 30 even by one day, you will be exempted but if you are below 30 or you are 30 at the time of graduation, you will be deployed.
“It is not possible to be exempted if you graduated below 30 because it is against the NYSC Act.”
Responding to a question, he said, “So, even if you graduate at the age of 20 and you are in the United States and you have not made yourself available to be mobilised, whenever you come back even if you are 60 years, you have to undergo the NYSC.”
Ani noted that it was a crime for anyone to present a forged NYSC certificate to an employer.
He said all employers were mandated to demand NYSC certificates before hiring graduates.
Ani added, “If you read Section 13 of the NYSC Act, it says not making yourself available for service is a criminal offence. However, whenever you want the NYSC certificate, whether you delay it until you are 60 years old, you must come to serve because you graduated when you were below 30.
“According to Section 13 of the NYSC Act, if you give false information concerning your NYSC, you are liable (sic). If you present a certificate that was not issued by the NYSC, you are liable (sic). It is a criminal offence.
“Whoever is employing anybody in this country, whether private or government, once you are coming in to accept that appointment, you are to present your NYSC certificate and it is also the responsibility of your employer to request it.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party has cautioned the leadership of the NYSC not to allow the Presidency to coerce it into covering the alleged NYSC Exemption certificate forgery allegation against Adeosun, with a purported investigation.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, said, “The NYSC must, therefore, know that its reputation is highly at stake as Nigerians are already agitated over the questionable delay by the agency in coming out with an answer on a direct issue that requires a simple computer or even manual file check at its headquarters.
“NYSC is advised to have it in mind that in this age of global Information Communication Technology, 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.”
However, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Wednesday, said it was wrong to say that the Federal Government had not spoken out on the alleged certificate forgery involving Adeosun.
“The government has spoken. NYSC is part of the government and I have nothing to add to what the NYSC has said,” the minister added.