John Alechenu, Olusola Fabiyi and Olaleye Aluko
The Peoples Democratic Party has said the former Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, who resigned her appointment on Friday, must be made to refund the salaries and allowances that she collected.
The party said the refund should start from her days as commissioner in Ogun State from where she was appointed as the minister of finance.
The main opposition party also said Adeosun, who has dual citizenship, must be made to name those who assisted her to allegedly forge her National Youth Service Corps exemption certificate.
The National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, stated this in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja on Sunday.
He said if Adeosun named those that helped her, she would save the country from embarrassment arising from activities that members of the cartel would carry out in the future.
Secondus said it was not enough for Adeosun to resign, she must be made to face the law to serve as a deterrent to others.
He added that failure to take action would show that the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari remained partial in its fight against corruption.
Secondus said, “With the impunity that this government is known for, there is no way the minister would have resigned if not because we are in an election year.”
The PDP boss stated that if the minister were to be a woman of honour and the Buhari administration was serious about the fight against corruption, Adeosun ought to have resigned from her job or be sacked the day the scandal became public knowledge.
He said, “We expect the minister return all the money she had collected either as salaries or allowances before this scandal.
“She must calculate what she collected since her days as a commissioner in Ogun State up till the day she packed her belongings and left the ministry of finance and pay same to the coffers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“She must show Nigerians the teller with which she paid the money. This will enable Nigerians to know that she has done the needful.
“Also, we need to know the identities of those who helped her procure the fake NYSC discharged certificate. The government needs to clean the place of such characters.”
Secondus also asked Adeosun to return to Nigeria and serve her fatherland since the law did not exempt her from taking part in the NYSC scheme.
SERAP, CACOL seek further probe, Adeosun’s extradition
Also, two civil society organisations – the Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project and the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership – said Adeosun’s leaving Nigeria should not stall her prosecution for certificate forgery.
They added that Nigeria should begin the process of her extradition from the United Kingdom.
The SERAP Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, said, “The former minister’s exit from the country must not stop the prosecution of a forgery case. I understand that Nigeria has a good relationship with the United Kingdom and could extradite anyone wanted for any criminal allegation in the country.”
Also, the CACOL Director, Debo Adeniran, said, “We desire that she should be prosecuted, and that she was able to flee the country is a tragedy. It is an affront on the anti-corruption efforts of the present administration. We thought that as soon as she admitted the matter, she should have been promptly invited. This should not be the end of the case.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the African Democratic Congress, Chief Okey Nwosu, said systemic failure in the Federal Government allowed the former minister to scale through her screening and later escape from the country after the certificate forgery allegation was confirmed.
Nwosu said, “There was supposed to be a thorough screening and I wonder if that was done. Also, the allegation had been on for more than two months and the law enforcement agencies kept mute about it. They did not need her resignation before inviting her. The system is not working and the leaders who said they are fighting corruption are not truthful.”
APC says ex-minister’s action honourable
But the APC said Adeosun’s resignation and the acceptance of same by President Muhammadu Buhari demonstrated the strength of character and integrity of the Buhari-led administration.
This was contained in a statement by the acting National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Yekini Nabena, on Sunday.
In the statement titled, ‘Kemi Adeosun: Salute to Honour and Integrity,’ Nabena said the actions of the former minister and the President exemplified the administration’s responsiveness to issues of national importance.
The statement read in part, “The news that the National Youth Service Corps exemption certificate tendered by the former finance minister was not genuine has been well-reported.
“Like all responsive and responsible governments concerned about the truth and due process, the Federal Government undertook a diligent investigation into the allegation. Now that the report of the investigation is out, the right thing has been done.
“The honorable minister has taken the path of honour and resigned. We congratulate Mrs Adeosun for her action.
“In President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration of integrity and transparency, no officer of government with a modicum of questionable conduct or integrity should stay in office.
“In the past PDP-led administrations, the country was held down by corrupt and irresponsible public officers who refused to honour invitations from the National Assembly; who closed down national airports against perceived political adversaries; bought luxurious bullet-proof vehicles with public funds at inflated prices; locked out National Assembly members, forcing federal lawmakers to climb high barricades in order to assess the legislative chamber.
“It was these acts of corruption, impunity, irresponsibility and executive rascality that made Nigerians to vote in the President Buhari administration in 2015… to put a stop to such undemocratic practices.”
PDP wants N10trn presidency fraud probed
Meanwhile, the PDP has asked the National Assembly to open an investigation into alleged stealing of over N10trn by the cabal in the presidency.
The party alleged that the fraud took place under Adeosun’s watch as finance minister.
The PDP said its position was predicated on allegations that the Presidency and the APC, being aware of the former minister’s NYSC exemption certificate liability, used her to steal trillions of naira from the national treasury.
The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, on Sunday, urged the parliament to probe the books of the finance ministry during Adeosun’s tenure, as well as the ministry of petroleum resources, which is under Buhari.
The PDP said the probe would expose those behind the alleged N9trn fraudulent oil contracts detailed in a leaked NNPC memo, the N1.4trn fraudulent oil subsidy regime and the alleged diverted N1.1trn worth of crude oil through 18 illegal companies linked with APC interests, among others.
The statement read in part, “The PDP also insists that Mrs Adeosun must be made to explain how the $321m repatriated by Switzerland was opened up for re-looting by the presidency cabal and corrupt APC leaders while she told Nigerians through the media that the fund was being transferred to the poor and vulnerable household under a discredited social safety nets system.
“Adeosun must be made to tell Nigerians how a cabinet minister close to President Buhari directly stole $16.9m (about N7bn) from the returned $321m as non-existent legal fees before the fund became an Automated Teller Machine for members of the presidency cabal and the APC leaders.
“The former minister should also be made to expose where the pressure that compromised the system for the stealing of over N25bn National Health Insurance Scheme fund from the Treasury Single Account was initiated.”
The acting National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena, had yet to respond as of press time.
A text message sent to him was not replied to as of 9.15pm.