A Pro-Democracy and civil rights advocacy group- Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has flayed the Senate for allowing the newly inaugurated Minister of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy Hannatu Musawa, then ministerial nominee, to take a bow and go despite controversies surrounding her National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) Certificate.
HURIWA alleged that the inaugurated Minister of Arts and Culture was actually a serving member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) somewhere in Wuse 2 Abuja in the year 2023.
“Musawa was the last ministerial nominee to show up for Senate’s screening during penultimate Tuesday’s Plenary Session of the Nigerian Senate.
“HURIWA described as despicable what was a routine with the Godswill Akpabio-led Senate in which the then ministerial nominee, Ms. Musawa was asked to “take a bow and go” without being asked any questions about her academic qualifications, including the controversy surrounding her NYSC Certificate which a credible source in NYSC confirmed that the Minister is still a Youth Corps member with posting No. FC/23A/505.”
HURIWA added that the Minister was posted to Onyilokwu Onyilowa and Company located at the old Banex plaza.
HURIWA recalled that in 2020, the Ahmed Lawan-led 9th Senate rejected Musawa’s nomination by former President Muhammadu Buhari as the Commissioner representing the North West at the National Pension Commission (PENCOM).
“Her failure to submit her NYSC Certificate was cited as reason for her rejection. While it is compulsory for every Nigerian graduate to take part in the National Youths Service Corps for one year, graduates who are above 30 years are exempted from the national service.
“Section 13 of the National Youths Service Corps Act stipulates that any Nigerian graduate below 30 who refuses to make himself/herself available for the compulsory one-year service has committed an offence “and liable on conviction to a fine of N4,000 or face imprisonment for a term of two years or both.”
HURIWA recalled too that a former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, was forced to resign from President Muhammadu Buhari’s government after an online newspaper reported that she forged the NYSC exemption certificate used in securing her appointment as minister.
HURIWA, which had earlier condemned Musawa for alleged display of illegality by spreading crispy N1,000 notes to some local Hausa musicians at an event in which she was reportedly being celebrated over her appointment as minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria to order her investigation and possible arrest and prosecution for breaching the extant law which prohibits such abuses of the National currency of Nigeria.
The group has also challenged NYSC to compel the minister to choose between completing her engagement as a Corps member under the NYSC national service scheme and then bag her NYSC Certificate or disengage from the service and focus on her new task as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
It wondered why the correct status of Musawa was not made known to the members of the public before the Senate sensationally failed to screen her as it should.
Faulting the Department of State Services for not discovering that Musawa is a service Corps member, HURIWA alleged that years back, Musawa abandoned her NYSC in Ebonyi State but later showed interest to complete it and was mobilized this year and posted to a law firm in Abuja where she was serving before President Tinubu picked her as a ministerial nominee, and she was confirmed by Senate without proper screening.