Keyamo And His Red Herring

January 24, 2023
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Anyone who has followed Festus Keyamo’s legal trajectory would know that he craves for publicity like oxygen and plays to the gallery.

He craves for publicity by making wild allegations as if his whole life depends on it. A few examples would suffice. Here is someone, after his Youth service in Gani Fawehinmi Chambers circa 1994/1995, as he was about starting his private legal practice, accused Gani Fawehinmi of stealing the money of National Conscience party(NCP), a party founded and funded by Gani! He granted interviews in The Guardian to make this spurious claim. Gani promptly asked an external auditor to come audit the account of the party, which revealed that the party was being funded from the law Chambers account. He even stretched his ridiculousness further by claiming that he was a co-founder of the party. All these for the publicity and to be in people’s consciousness.

As Gani Fawehinmi started his legal battle with Bola Tinubu over the Chicago perjury case, Keyamo too joined the fray by suing the Lagos House of Assembly for the House to impeach Tinubu as Governor who he accused of certificate forgery. The case was thrown out due to his sloppiness. How can a lawyer file an Originating Summons without a supporting affidavit? He granted a number of interviews where he lambasted Tinubu. Today, he is Tinubu’s chief defender, huffing and puffing, screaming himself hoarse on national TVs. I thought the Legal practitioners privileges committee that awards the title – Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has guidelines on public decorum for SANs.

Shortly after the Tinubu saga, still in his quest to hug the headlines, Keyamo shifted his attention to the murder of Chief Bola Ige, accusing Chief Iyiola Omisore as the killer. Keyamo used one Frayo as his main witness. The case was thrown out. He made lots of media show of the issue to draw attention to himself as an “activist”. Today, Keyamo is wining and dinning with same Omishore as the National Secretary of his party, the same way he is shouting himself hoarse in defending Tinubu he once accused of Chicago forgery.

Through his playing to the gallery, he warmed himself to the reckoning of Farida Waziri, then EFCC Chairman who gave him a lot of fat briefs from the EFCC, one of which was that of the prosecution of Bode George, who was eventually freed by the Supreme Court after his conviction at the lower courts. When Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour was about to be elevated from the court of appeal to the Supreme Court, Keyamo petitioned against the judge, claiming he was close to Bode George he was prosecuting. His frivolous petition was thrown out and Rhodes-Vivour got elevated to the Supreme Court where he retired two years ago. But when this same Keyamo was applying for the SAN title and needed to be in the good books of Supreme Court justices, the double-faced Keyamo, playing Hyde and Jackyl, praised same Justice Rhodes-Vivour to high heavens as an upright judge.

In 2008, he also played to the gallery, going from one tv station to the other, accusing then Speaker, House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole of monumental corruption. After drawing the attention of the EFCC to himself, the anti-graft body eventually charged Bankole to court and guess what – gave the brief to Keyamo! After pocketing his huge legal fees from the EFCC, he couldn’t prove all the noise he was making against Bankole, who was discharged and acquitted by the court but Keyamo smiled to the bank with his huge legal fees.

Now, it’s the turn of Atiku Abubakar. He has started shouting on tv screens over an affidavit sworn to by a former aide of Atiku. But l can bet you, after the noise has died down, tomorrow, same Keyamo would be jumping all over the place to defend same Atiku. That’s how opportunists operate by engaging in red herrings to draw attention to themselves.

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