Forgery: HEDA Files Suit To Compel IGP To Investigate Adeosun
Human and Environmental Development Agenda Resource Centre [HEDA], a non-governmental organization in Nigeria, has filed a motion ex-parte before the Federal High Court sitting at Ikoyi, Lagos State, seeking for the leave of court to apply for an order compelling and mandating the Inspector General of Police to commence urgent investigations on the recently publicized allegations of forgery of National Youth Service Corps certificate against Nigeria’s finance minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.
HEDA Resource Centre, which has the promotion of transparency and accountability in government as one of its core mandates, said it chose to approach the courts with a view to ensuring that the matter is not swept under the carpet like most of such allegations involving politically exposed persons, thus its application for leave to seek judicial review.
In a statement issued and signed by HEDA’s chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, the Motion ex-parte was dated the 30th August, 2018, and filed alongside an affidavit deposed to by Mr. Olalekan Yahaya Buhari, Programme Officer of HEDA Resource Centre, in addition to a certificate of identification of computer generated document, a statement, a verifying affidavit and a written address.
HEDA’s application follows an earlier petition written to the Inspector General of Police, dated the 10th July, 2018 demanding a thorough and urgent investigation of the allegations of forgery of NYSC certificate by Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and also requested that if the Minister is found to be culpable of the allegations, she should be prosecuted, alongside the State Security Service officials responsible for vetting her certificate, including members of the parliament accused of exploiting her situation for budgetary favours.
HEDA in the said petition based its request on the express provisions of Section 13 of the NYSC Act which made the NYSC programme compulsory for all Nigerians who graduate from university or equivalent institutions within or outside Nigeria at less than 30 years of age and prescribes an imprisonment term of 12 months and or N2000 fine for eligible Nigerians who skip the service year without valid reasons recognized under the Act.
HEDA Resource Centre also in its aforementioned petition to the IGP stated that where official acknowledgement or response is not received from the IGP or the police force within two weeks of receipt of the petition, the organization may be compelled to institute legal action to ensure that the necessary investigations and relevant actions are carried out in accordance with the law.
The court application papers showed the prayers of the applicant (HEDA Resource Centre) to be as follows:
“An order granting leave to the applicant to apply for an order of mandamus compelling the office of the IGP to investigate and publish its report on the allegations of forgery of NYSC certificate against Nigeria’s finance minister; Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.
“And for such further order or orders as the honourable court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.”
HEDA finally urged the court to hear the matter urgently in the overriding interest of justice since the subject matter is of utmost national concern and particularly of great interest to civil society in general.