…it’s all about building a culture of consequence in our dear nation. Nigeria is in this mess because we’ve over the years wilfully enthroned a culture of “nothing will happen.” What matters isn’t if you’re on the wrong side of the law, but you are on the right side of power politics. If you’re on the right aisle, there will be no comeuppance for your crime, even if it’s murder.


Finally and with no place to hide any further, Nigeria’s finance minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, had no choice than to quit on September 14, 2018.

For over 60 days, she had defiantly ridden the storm, given cover and encouragement by accomplices in top government positions, including a presidential aide, Professor Itse Sagay, and egged on by a large crowd of lobotomised supporters of the Buhari administration.

Earlier, one of Nigeria’s foremost online newspapers, PREMIUM TIMES, had exposed how she got her job with a forged National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate. It was a damning report that the disgraced minister and her sympathisers had scrambled to ignore. Those who tried to keep the matter alive were taunted and derided by the likes of Otunba Ajiboye.

To them, it doesn’t matter that all the years she had worked in Nigeria since her return from Britain, she had done so as a lawbreaker. Well, not really going by her claims in her resignation letter to Buhari. She claimed she was made to believe she was no longer eligible to take part in the NYSC and was misled to believe that the exemption certificate in her possession was duly obtained and genuine. Unfortunately, it’s trite that ignorance of the law has never been a defence for ANY crime.

But thanks to the diligence of the journalists at PREMIUM TIMES, her exemption certificate is undoubtedly of dubious provenance, as it has sadly turned out. And the report of a panel the federal government set up to probe the allegation, after public opinion had refused to abate for her resignation and prosecution, indicted her. That report was the final nail in her coffin. Even without the report, her undignified but loud silence had punctured any possible claim to innocence she might plead.

Even despite her resignation, her sympathisers are still on overdrive to deodorise her image by trying to shift attention to her “sterling performance” in office.

…nobody is really making any heavy weather about her performance, sterling or otherwise. The issue is she fell on the wrong side of the law, the circumstances notwithstanding, and she has to pay the price.


Her forgery saga also exposed the hollow ritual of our perfunctory ways of doing things. Twice she was screened for top public positions in Ogun State, where she cut her teeth in public service as commissioner of finance and at the federal level to manage the nation’s treasury.

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On those two occasions, the state legislature and the Senate along with the Department of State Services (DSS) that gave her security clearance failed the nation. They did such a poor job that they failed to detect the fakery. Perhaps one of these days, a Lawrence Anini, the notorious armed robber who terrorised Benin in the 1980s, might slip through the net to emerge as the inspector general of police.

Make no mistake. The grouse against Adeosun isn’t about her “sterling performance,” even though that’s debatable. So it’s pointless for anybody pleading that we should cut her some slack.

Under her watch, all the indices point to an economy that’s been marching surefootedly and determinedly southward. Inflation has just climbed up to 11.23 per cent, unemployment rate inching towards the 20 per cent milestone; the stock market, according to a Bloomberg report, is the fifth worst performing bourse in the world and the national debt stock has risen astronomically from N12.06 trillion in March 2015 to about N23 trillion by the corresponding period in 2018.

But nobody is really making any heavy weather about her performance, sterling or otherwise. The issue is she fell on the wrong side of the law, the circumstances notwithstanding, and she has to pay the price.

Adeosun is a victim of circumstances, as some of her defenders have pleaded on her behalf, just as Evans the kidnapping kingpin is. In fact, we are all victims of circumstances because of our ignorance, lack of due diligence and the poor choices we made. And we all pay the big price for it one way or the other.

In the U.K., the country of her birth and which despite her fleetingly romance with Nigeria she still prefers as her premium choice of nativity, Adeosun knew she wouldn’t have lasted one week in office after PREMIUM TIMES exposed the forgery. But she lasted this long because the system is so skewed and abused that it’s pliable.


Like I had told some of my friends who had wondered what was and is my interest in the Adeosun saga, it’s all about building a culture of consequence in our dear nation. Nigeria is in this mess because we’ve over the years wilfully enthroned a culture of “nothing will happen.” What matters isn’t if you’re on the wrong side of the law, but you are on the right side of power politics. If you’re on the right aisle, there will be no comeuppance for your crime, even if it’s murder. The system even enables you to profit from your crime and to keep the “rewards.”

In the U.K., the country of her birth and which despite her fleetingly romance with Nigeria she still prefers as her premium choice of nativity, Adeosun knew she wouldn’t have lasted one week in office after PREMIUM TIMES exposed the forgery. But she lasted this long because the system is so skewed and abused that it’s pliable.

Now that advocates of public morality have won this battle, it’s not over yet. The attorney general of the federation and the inspector general of police, who have so far hidden behind the one finger of no report or petition against her can seize the moment to redeem themselves.

The presidential panel report, which Adeosun referenced in her resignation letter to Buhari that indicted her should be used to put her and those who procured the forged NYSC exemption certificate for her on trial.

The president is at liberty to exercise his prerogative of mercy in her favour, upon possible conviction, if he so desires.
That’s how to bring a befitting closure to this saga.

God bless Nigeria!

Yemi Ajayi, a former Editor of NEW TELEGRAPH, writes from Lagos.