A former assistant director of the Department of State Services, Dennis Amachree, says the DSS has always informed the President about ministerial nominees with fake certificates.
He, however, said some still scale through based on political considerations.
Amachree said this during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday.
He was asked why some persons with fake certificates had gone on to become ministers despite DSS screening and Senate grilling.
In his response, Amachree said the DSS had always investigated the credentials of nominees and sent reports to the President but it was left to the President and the Senate to finalise the appointment.
He said, “Some of these things (fake certificates) are discovered. The SSS will not tell you this person ‘don’t take him, this person is fit, take him’. We do intelligence report and submit it to the President. And in the report, I am sure it will be included that this person’s certificate is not correct.
“And then of course, in taking a decision, they can overlook that certificate part of it and that is why sometimes you see situations where somebody’s certificate is faulty and he has to take a bow.”
The former DSS official said the screening was similar to what companies do to job seekers.
He said, “There are two different kinds of screening that are being done by the SSS and by the legislators in the Senate. What the SSS does is to do a positive vetting. Positive vetting encompasses the background of the subject where we go in and find out which schools you attended, whether your certificates are correct. It is a normal thing. Companies do it to ensure that the certificate a person is presenting is not a ‘Toronto’ one.”
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, had last year resigned after it was discovered that her exemption certificate purportedly issued by the National Youth Service Corps was fake.
A former Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, also admitted that he never did the NYSC programme which is compulsory for everyone who graduated.