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October 19, 2018
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News coming to us has reported that another minister under in President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has been found to have skipped the compulsory national youth service program, an offence that may tarnish his position and earn him a jail term.

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Adebayo Shittu – Premium Times

According to what PREMIUM TIMES reported yesterday, The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, failed to participate in the NYSC scheme despite graduating from the then University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) at age 25.

The revelation about Mr Shittu, who is currently angling to become Oyo State governor, is coming to light about a week after Kemi Adeosun was compelled to step down from her post as Nigeria’s finance minister after this medium reported that she skipped national service and then procured a fake exemption certificate to cover her tracks.

Months of discreet checks at the NYSC headquarters showed that the communications minister did not present himself for service after graduation and is yet to do so till date.

Contacted Tuesday, Mr Shittu admitted that he did not serve but claimed he thought his first political post after graduation could suffice as national service, a claim lawyers and NYSC insiders consider as ludicrous and untenable.

Skipping the compulsory national service is an offence under the NYSC law, punishable with up to 12 months imprisonment.

Employers are mandated by law to always request NYSC certificate of national service from employees as part of the conditions for hiring.

Mr Shittu, born on March 23, 1953, studied law at Ife, graduating in 1978. He proceeded to the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, qualifying as a lawyer in 1979.

Having earned a bachelors degree at the age of 25, Section 2 of the NYSC Act expects Mr Shittu to have participated in the year-long national service.

Section 2 (1) of the NYSC Act mandates all Nigerians who earn degrees or higher national diplomas from tertiary institutions in Nigerian and abroad (effective 1972/73 session) to participate in the scheme.

Those exempted by the law are those who graduated after their 30th birthday, persons with national honours and individuals, who serve in the military and intelligence organisations.

READ ALSO: Kemi Adeosun resignation: How to collect your NYSC exemption certificate

Rather than enlist in the national service, Mr Shittu went into politics after graduation, and was, in 1979, elected member of the Oyo State House of Assembly.

The minister said he believed that having been elected lawmaker, he needed not participate in the national service.

He said he deliberatively skipped the NYSC scheme because he was convinced that his membership of the state assembly was itself a “service”.

“The constitution provides for the qualification needed for state assembly members, NYSC is not there,” Mr. Shittu said. “I didn’t need it to become a member of the state assembly, and that is already a service,” he said.

Mr Shittu disagreed with our reporter who laboured to explain to him that the NYSC Act makes participation in the scheme mandatory for all graduates like him and that election or appointment to political office does not qualify as a basis for exemption.

Sunday Akinseye

is the Lifestyle Editor at dkmngr. he is a blogger, and social media addict.

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