#AdeosunGate: Drama, intrigues that preceded Kemi Adeosun’s resignation

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By Abdulaziz Abdulaziz

The resignation of Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, from her post Friday evening did not come without high-wire drama and intrigues.

It followed weeks of high-level horse-trading since PREMIUM TIMES exposed a certificate forgery scandal involving the minister.

The minister’s resignation was confirmed Friday evening via a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media, Femi Adesina.

Mr Adesina announced President Muhammadu Buhari’s acceptance of the minister’s resignation. He also provided the full text of the resignation letter.

On July 7, this newspaper exclusively reported how the finance minister skipped the mandatory national youth service and forged an exemption certificate in lieu.

PREMIUM TIMES had in series of reports between March and April painted a picture of unholy alliance between the minister and federal lawmakers, who used the discrepancy to blackmail Mrs Adeosun into illegally financing the legislature.

Despite widespread outrage and condemnation from Nigerians, Mrs Adeosun maintained studied silence throughout.

The minister was reportedly assured by some powerful forces within and outside the administration  that nothing would happen to her as a result of the revelation.

Officials at the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) also came under intense pressure to help save the minister’s neck.

But sources at the presidency said the NYSC Director General, Suleiman Kazaure, a brigadier general, resisted the pressures, insisting that there was nothing he and his officials could do on the matter.

However, a section of the administration, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, was said to be uncomfortable with having Mrs Adeosun around, amidst the unresolved scandal.

But President Buhari, who assured government officials who spoke to him that he would take action on the matter, took many weeks trying to understand the issues.

THE EXIT

Mrs Adeosun’s journey into resignation started on Wednesday, with an order for her to resign.

Impeccable sources told PREMIUM TIMES the minister was barred from the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting and told to submit her resignation to the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.

The verbal instruction, which was relayed to her by Mr Kyari on behalf of the president, rattled Mrs Adeosun who went home downcast from the villa.

“She has been downcast and at home since she was given the order,” a source close to her told PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday.

The option of resignation was handed the minister as a way of giving her an opportunity to salvage whatever remained of her integrity.

A leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, also reportedly advised President Buhari to ask the minister to resign.

That was, however, not done before the president left for London on vacation in July.

At least two officials who met with Mr Buhari around the time confided in PREMIUM TIMES that the president assured them that he was consulting before taking action.

“He said he spoke to about seven persons, including the Ogun State governor who brought her, to seek advise on the way out,” a chief executive of one federal agency told PREMIUM TIMES at the time.

 

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