‘NYSC Controversy: Musawa Has Not Violated Any Law’

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Norrision Quakers, has said the Minister of Arts and Culture, Hannatu Musawa, has violated any law of the nation despite being a corps member.

Recall that Musawa had been called out by a Civil Society Organisation, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), for accepting to be a minister and still undergoing a one-year mandatory youth service scheme.

It, therefore, called on the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to compel Musawa to focus on either her national youth service or the ministerial appointment.

Also, some people accused Musawa of violating the NYSC Act, saying that it was a breach of the Act for any corps member to pick up a government appointment until the one year of service was over.

But in an interview with The Punch, Quakers said Musawa cannot be prosecuted for serving in the cabinet of the president while still a corps member, noting that the noise around the matter is unnecessary.

The senior lawyer stressed that the minister had not violated any provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended on the qualifications expected of a minister.

Quakers said, “It is not a criminal offence; I don’t know why the hue and cry on it. What does the NYSC Act say? Section 2 is very clear. It says that service is compulsory for every Nigerian who has graduated from school. What she has done is nothing criminal; she is still in service. There is nothing in the Nigerian law that says someone like her cannot become a minister.

“Section 147(5) of the 1999 Constitution states the qualifications for anyone to be appointed as a minister. It states that no one should do so unless he is qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Representatives. What are the disqualifications or qualifications for a member of the House of Representatives? You will find the disqualification provisions in Section 66, and none of this applies to her.

“The qualification provisions are stated in Section 65. There is nowhere in the constitution that states that a serving corps member cannot be appointed as a minister. All this hue and cry is not necessary.”

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