5 things we remember about Festus Keyamo, President Buhari’s re-election bid spokesman
Keyamo is a key figure in the Nigeria polity who had battled and accused past administrations of corrupt practices.
As a lawyer, a human rights activist and a popular name in the Nigerian polity since 2000, Festus Keyamo already had some degree of name recognition.
But his recent appointment as Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesperson for his re-election bid, has catapulted Keyamo into a whole new stratosphere of influence.
Apart from actively supporting the President, Keyamo will oversee a drive to launder Buhari’s image. A group of political strategists led by ex-governor and incumbent Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi have been appointed to ensure the re-election of the Nigerian president in 2019.
Buhari’s new spokesman on re-election bid had a very strict upbringing. His parents were Jehovah Witnesses and were brought up in line with the strict biblical/Christian principles.
Born on January 21, 1970 in Ughelli, Delta State, Keyamo had his primary education at Model Primary School and secondary education at Government College, Ughelli and later proceeded to Ambrose Alli University at Ekpoma, in Edo State southern Nigeria where he received a Bachelor of Law degree in 1992 and was called to the Nigerian Bar on December 1993.
Keyamo began his legal career in 1993 at Gani Fawehinmi's Chambers in Lagos State, southwestern Nigeria.
In 1995 after spending two years at Gani Fawehinmi's chambers, Keyamo left the chambers to establish Festus Keyamo Chambers. Kyamo became famous when he took up the case on the murder of Nigeria’s former Attorney General, Bola Ige.
In his career, he was elevated to the league of Senior Advocates of Nigeria in 2017 after he had represented the leader of the Niger-Delta Peoples’ Volunteer Force, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari in his trial for treasonable felony as well as Ralph Uwazuruike, the leader of the Movement For The Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) in the treason trial.
In 2008, Keyamo took the Federal Government of Nigeria to court over illegal appointments of service chiefs.
Here are ten things we didn’t know about Keyamo:
1. Keyamo’s journey into activism began after reading books of people fighting for others and his two years with Gani Fawehinmi further bolstered the desires and the thoughts of activism.
2. He is a very shy person but has to put up the face because of his career and activism.
3. Keyamo would have ended up being an architect but his career guidance counselor, father, and teacher urged him to study law: “I wanted to study architecture and I still love it till today. I wanted to study architecture but everybody around me said I have to read the law – my career guidance counselor, my father’s friends, teachers in my school, everybody had a hand in my decision to read the law. They saw something in me, which I didn’t see and at the end of the day I made up my mind.”
4. He still loves architecture so much that he drew the plans of his chambers himself. He said: “I still love architecture and so much attracted to it that if I want to do any construction now, the architect only comes in to put dimensions. I like to supervise constructions and I like to draw building plans. This office, I virtually drew the plan, I only needed the architect to put dimensions and professional touches. All architects working with me always get tired because I would always correct the drawing many times, I remodel them until I get what I wanted. I love architect by nature."
5. In an interview, Keyamo aired his thoughts on the possibility of finding the killers of Bola Ige: “My simple answer to that is that when the killers are looking for the killers, then the killers will never be found. But one day, when the killers are no longer in control of the agencies in charge of investigations, then the killers may be found. I rest my case.”
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