A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday held that presentation of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) certificate was not a condition for being appointed a minister or elected into a public office.
It made the clarification while delivering judgment in a suit filed by Senior Advocate of Nigeria Wole Olanipekun on behalf of former Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun.
The case marked FHC/ABJ/CS/303/2021 had the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) as the sole defendant.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo, who delivered the verdict, held that Adeosun did not need the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC) discharge certificate to take up ministerial appointment.
The judge stressed that she was not qualified to have participated in the scheme when she graduated as a Briton from a London university at 22..
Justice Taiwo further held that, as at when Adeosun formally returned to Nigeria, and became a Nigerian citizen, at over 30 years, she was no longer eligible to present herself for the NYSC scheme.
The judge noted that the plaintiff was not supposed to present herself for the NYSC scheme because, under the 1979 Constitution, which was in force at the time of her graduation, she was not a Nigerian.
Justice Taiwo also held that since the 1979 Constitution, which was in force at the time she graduated did not recognise dual citizenship, she could not have engaged in the NYSC scheme as a British..
He added that since the extant constitution did not require the plaintiff to present an NYSC discharge certificate to be appointed a minister, her ministerial appointment was not illegal, neither was it unconstitutional, even without presenting the NYSC certificate.
Justice Taiwo, who observed that. Adeosun graduated from the University of East London in 1989 at the age of 22, held that participation in the NYSC scheme and the possession of discharge the certificate were not yardsticks for qualification for appointment as a minister or to stand election as a member of the House of Representatives.
“The plaintiff has proved her entitlement to all the reliefs sought,” the judge said and proceeded to grant the four reliefs sought in her favour.
Among the reliefs sought by the former is “a declaration that the plaintiff, being a United Kingdom citizen as at 1989 when she graduated from the University of East London, London, United Kingdom at the age of 22 years, was ineligible to participate in the National Youth Service Corps scheme, established by the National Youth Service Corps Act, CAP N8, LFN, 2004.”