BY GODSON O. MONEKE

NEWSDAILYNIGERIA: Festus Keyamo is Nigeria’s minister of state for Labour and Employment, a member of the federal executive council representing Delta state as a constitutional requirement. He no doubt holds an exalted position in the federal government, therefore, the society expects a certain standard of behavior from him commensurate with the maturity expected of an occupier of the position of a minister in the government of the federation. I had known Festus Keyamo as a scion of the legendary Gani Fawahenmi school of legal activism but he became popular during the Bola Tinubu university of Chicago and Chicago state university saga but most recently in the Omisore case for the the murder of Bola Ige episode where he was the private prosecutor in both cases. Ironically, he is now in bed with the same people he fought so hard to convict and put behind bars. You can call it politics but even among thieves, there is still honour. It is either that Festus Keyamo did not believe in all the noises he made against Bola Tinubu and Omisore then or he is just a turncoat, unprincipled and a frivolous human being. Either way, it is very unfortunate because it means he has no scruples. Those of us who believed and spearheaded the Buhari and Tinubu brand of politics never imagined that the politics we embraced would encourage violence, ethnic profiling, slurs and tribal irredentism. Here we are having thugs and touts determine political choices and outcomes. When a famous motor park tout issued a threat to an ethnic group to either vote a certain political party or not vote at all, the law enforcement agencies said he was joking instead of inviting and cautioning him. The threat was eventually carried out as the election was a celebration of mayhem, violence, killings and maiming, yet the law enforcement agencies are behaving as if nothing happened.

When the head of a fish is rotten, the whole fish is rotten and useless is a metaphor which should remind us that the people who issued the threats to some ethnic groups would not have had the gut to do so if they had no backing from high quarters. One of the presidential candidates during electioneering made the issue of bashing a particular ethnic group a pastime yet the security agencies indulged him. It is his body language that his aides are trumpeting because they are doing now are his biddings. One of the aides, an old warhorse who obviously is grappling with the onset of senility even had the temerity to say that he would not apologize for the ethnic slurs he inveighed on a major ethnic group. Ironically, the law enforcement agencies have done nothing to him up the time of my writing. Does this show that our leaders are serious about building a nation? People who are not less than 60years have thrown decorum and sobriety to the dogs and now talk recklessly and irresponsibly. The law enforcement agencies say those threats were jokes but when the threats are carried out, the agencies remain mute. Would you then be wrong to call them accomplices? What do you call that and what message are they sending? Some people are above the law once they are connected at high places. WE ARE NO LONGER BUILDING A NATION WHERE PEACE AND JUSTICE SHALL REIGN. Rather, we are building a nation where the end justifies the means!!!! Bayo Onanuga and Femi Fani-Kayode are striving to outdo each other on who has more repertoire of hate speeches. They think that is the only way they can convince their principal that they are working hard. But Dele Alake is making a bigger impact without condescending so low. That is called professionalism which is lacking in the three aides earlier mentioned.

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Some Yoruba people who are falsely claiming to be indigenes of Lagos forget the history of Lagos as a Benin and Awori settlement. No proud Igbo man or woman would claim to be an indigene of Lagos because we have a proud heritage which we cannot trade for anything. It is people who are ashamed of where they come from that make this noise about being indigenes of Lagos state. People cluster around Lagos state because of its unique position as both a former federal capital and currently the commercial nerve center of Nigeria. The federal government made it so. Lagos was developed with wealth belonging to all Nigerians and not only Yorubas. You can claim that it is in Yoruba land and nobody is ready to drag it with you. It is never in Igbo land, hence the fuss is unnecessary. What is fraudulent in the current claim by Tinubu and his orbit is their desperation to appropriate other people’s investments using all sorts of shenanigans. Why does Tinubu want to be the president of Nigeria if he is so fixated about the yorubaness of Lagos state because it doesn’t make sense to me? Lagos was developed by all Nigerians through their commonwealth and private wealth and the current agitation is criminal and primitive. Most non Yorubas in Lagos are productive. It is the Yorubas who make the majority of touts, political thugs and ballot box snatchers. What is there to envy about such class of people? The federal government is to blame for concentrating infrastructural development in Lagos and I am sure if infrastructures have been evenly distributed, this myopic and prebendal argument would not have arisen. Open up the sea and airports in the east and north. Open up the railway facilities in the east and marvel at the economic explosion that will follow. Most of these require only federal government licensing and approvals not the funding which can be arranged using the different financing options available. It is not a rocket science. Lagos is already witnessing a diminishing returns and it is only a matter of time before it becomes an eyesore if the slums are not upgraded. Are physical and non-physical developments in Lagos state commensurate with the huge annual budget of the state? Time will tell.

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Festus KEYAMO is a lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. The hood does not make the monk, rather , it is the character of a monk that defines him. It is antithetical for a SAN to inundate the court with frivolous applications. But Festus Keyamo does not carry himself as a senior lawyer, he believes that knowing where a courthouse is situated is what makes him a lawyer. It is little wonder that he has lost as many cases as he has won all through his life in the practice of law. Nobody takes any person seriously who rushes to the courts or writes a nebulous petition at the drop of a hat. Such a person is not meditative and talks before he thinks. I am sure that is the way both the courts and the security agencies now see Festus Keyamo and rabble rousers like him. The case which he hurriedly filed against Atiku during electioneering period has been threatened to be struck out by the court for lack of diligent prosecution. Is it borne out of idleness or what? The other day he was disgracing himself trying to deceive Nigeria on the clear and lucid judgement of the US court on Bola Tinubu. The intention was to gaslight Nigerians on the matter by his convoluted interventions.. A more competent and professional spin doctor could have done a better job on the matter instead of the ignorance of the fine points of law and legal matters which Festus Keyamo demonstrated on the matter. It is better for a fool to keep quiet on a matter than to talk and clear all doubts. This is a lesson for Festus Keyemo if he is ready to learn because he behaves like Mr Know All. The elections have been conducted and aggrieved parties have gone to court. Issues have been joined but Mr Festus Keyamo , a Senior Advocate of Nigeria does not see anything wrong in commenting on matters before the courts. What kind of rascality is that and what is he teaching the younger lawyers? He is a serving Minister in the federal government, won’t he face his primary assignment now that elections are over. He can’t be collecting salaries without working for Nigeria. That is corruption.

Just recently, it was reported that Mr Festus Keyamo has petitioned the DSS asking them to arrest the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi and the vice-presidential candidate,Dr Datti Baba-Ahmed for for making incendiary remarks and asking the Chief Justice of Nigeria not to swear-in and the president of Nigeria not to handover to Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the president of Nigeria come May 29, 2023. It is obvious that Mr Festus Keyamo, though a SAN does not understand the meaning of Treason and Treasonable Felony. Tinubu is not yet the president of Nigeria and there are no two sovereigns in Nigeria. Tinubu is just being called the president-elect today because INEC said so. INEC DOES NOT SWEAR IN THE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA. THE CHIEF JUSTICE DOES. Therefore asking the CJN not to swear in Mr Tinubu as president of Nigeria is not treason or treasonable. But what INEC says is not sacrosanct because it is not above the law or constitution. Although, the law gives INEC the finality on election matters but it must follow the law in conducting its affairs. INEC IS NOT ABOVE THE LAWS. It is a common principle of ADMINISTRATIVE LAW THAT ANY STATUTORY MEETING CONVENED WITHOUT THE APPROPRIATE NOTICE IS VOID. ANY DECISION TAKEN AT SUCH A MEETING IS A NULLITY. The presidential collation meeting was adjourned the previous day to continue the collation the next day at usual time. Then before the adjourned date and time during the wee hours, the INEC Chairman sneaked back to the collation center and announced a winner for the election while decent people were asleep. WHAT KIND OF BEHAVIOR IS THAT? That announcement was a nullity because the NOTICE was not properly issued and the MEETING was not properly convened. If Dr Datti Baba-Ahmed stated that this illegality should not hold, Festus Keyamo should not harass him by calling the DSS on him. He contested the presidential election and has a legitimate expectation. Festus Keyamo did not contest any election talkless a presidential election and does not appreciate how Mr Ahmed feels. However, the law is clear on the process of becoming the president of Nigeria. Festus Keyamo does not have to intimidate Obi or Datti on this matter because it is unnecessary. Dr Datti Baba-Ahmed is exasperated at what INEC did but the matter of its appropriateness is now before the courts. It is for the courts to determine if the statements are incendiary or contemptuous and not for Festus KEYAMO because he is a partisan and interested party. Festus Keyamo should know that the DSS is not at his beck and call and are not ready to do his biddings. Festus Keyamo should know the difference between the state and government. The DSS, NIA, POLICE, ARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE, CIVIL SERVICE and similar bodies are institutions of STATE and exist irrespective of the government in power. They are non-partisan institutions which treat all Nigerians the same and Festus Keyamo cannot use them against any Nigerian whose face he does not like. It is a pity that Festus Keyamo would petition the DSS against Dr Datti Baba-Ahmed but would develop amnesia to remember that Tinubu, MC Oluomo, Oba Elegunsi, Bayo Onanuga and Femi Fani-Kayode have made racist and ethnic slurs which have led to the death, maiming , voter suppression, intimidation and destruction of property. It is an obvious hypocrisy for Festus Keyamo to turn a blind eye to the many incendiary utterances of Tinubu, his wife, Oba of Lagos, Femi Fani-Kayode, Bayo Onanuga, Oba Elegusi, MC Oluomo etc which are on tape and video only to regain his mojo and petition the DSS against Peter Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed over some unpalatable statements. I never knew of this duplicitous side of Festus Keyamo until now. Pitiful!!!!

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*Godson O. Moneke, a quantity surveyor, economist, sociologist, administrator and sociopolitical advocate wrote from Abuja.

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