Sagay said this during an interview with one of our correspondents on Friday.
A former Director-General of the NYSC, Brig.Gen Maharazu Tsiga (retd.), and a former Director of Mobilisation, Anthony Ani, had said there was no way the agency could have issued a certificate of exemption to the minister since she was not qualified for it having graduated below the age of 30.
The NYSC had said it was investigating the matter but has kept mum for nearly a week.
In his reaction, however, Sagay said the NYSC would need to clear the air as soon as possible to prevent speculations and further distractions.
He said, “To start with, without expressing an opinion on the validity of the exemption certificate or not, we have been preaching transparency in government operations since the time we came to power.
“As far as I know, Mrs. Adeosun is one of the best ministers we have ever had in terms of skills, transparency and accountability. She has excelled and she is a very valuable member of this government.
“But, I think the onus should be on the NYSC since she applied and got a certificate. If that is not contradicted, they should just leave her alone but if it is contradicted, then there would be an issue to consider. So, as far as I am concerned, there is nothing against her right now.
“Yes, the NYSC should come clean since they have all the records. Let them come out with what they have so that the lady would be able to defend herself if necessary.”
In a related development, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria has urged Buhari to sack from his cabinet anyone found to have forged certificates.
National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, made the appeal on behalf of the group in an interview with journalists in Abuja, on Friday.
According to him, members of the group are worried about the damage being done to Nigeria’s image at home and abroad by the President’s continued silence on cases of certificate forgeries which is slowly becoming a norm rather than the exception among his appointees.
Onwubiko expressed sadness that the situation was beginning to give Nigeria a negative image.
He said Buhari administration’s tendency to accommodate persons with questionable academic credentials if left unchecked, would rubbish the national policy on education which as constitutionally enshrined (Section 18 (1)) in the Constitution.
The human rights activist said, “President Buhari has the task of relieving persons such as his Senior Special Assistant on Prosecution, Mr. Obono Obla, who has been indicted for using a fake West African Examination Certificate as confirmed by the issuing authority which appeared before the House of Representatives recently.
“We recall that the West African Examinations Council on June 5, 2018, described as ‘altered and invalid’ the results and certificate it allegedly issued to the Chairman, Special Presidential Investigative Panel for the Recovery of Property, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla.
“WAEC, whilst testifying before the House of Representatives ad hoc Panel investigating Mr. Obono-Obla’s alleged forgery, WAEC Registrar, represented by the Deputy Registrar, Mr. Femi Ola, said available evidence indicated that the results were ‘altered’ and thus ‘invalid’.
“The current administration must desist from polluting the international image of Nigeria by tolerating many persons of questionable academic credentials who are working in the Federal Government of Nigeria when there are millions of highly qualified Nigerians from diverse fields searching frantically for employments.
“The silence of the current government to the cacophony of allegations of certificate forgery involving top rated government officials shows that the corporate image of the country is imperiled and if this silence and failure to act persists, then the rest of the world will see Nigeria as a country of certificate forgers.”
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