Imo Election: PDP Is A Very Unserious Opposition – Keyamo

The Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Mr Festus Keyamo, briefing reporters in Ugheli, Delta State on January 16, 2020.

 

 

The Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Mr Festus Keyamo, has described the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a very unserious opposition.

He made the remark during an interview with reporters on Wednesday while attending an event in Ughelli, Delta State.

“We have an opposition that is a very unserious opposition; an opposition that is not ready to take but they are ready to give,” said the Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

He further described the PDP as “an opposition that takes the benefit from the system; from a particular institution and they don’t want to take the downs from that same institution.”

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Nullifies Election Of Ihedioha, Declares Hope Uzodinma Imo Governor

Keyamo faulted the reaction of the opposition party to the judgement of the Supreme Court which removed Mr Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of Imo State.

A seven-man panel of justices led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammed, had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Ihedioha and give same to Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Party (APC).

Hope Uzodinma                                                                                                                    Emeka Ihedioha

 

 

Reacting in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP rejected the judgement and wondered how Uzodinma who came fourth could be declared as the winner of the election.

“In fact, the PDP and indeed, most Nigerians are still at a loss as to understand the basis upon which the Supreme Court arrived at its decision.

“The party says it is lamentable that the destiny of the people of Imo state is being taken from the governor they chose and voted for and handed over to individuals and a political party that do not have their blessing and mandate and which they rejected at the election,” the opposition party said.

On his part, Keyamo believes members of the opposition party are not objective with their reaction because the court’s ruling did not favour them.

He highlighted the events in two states where members of the APC were barred from participating in the 2019 general elections.

The minister questioned, “The same court that gave them victories and excluded us entirely in Rivers State, excluded us entirely in Zamfara State; is that the same kangaroo court?

“How can democrats come out and make such very inciting statement? I think it is an irresponsible statement.

“It doesn’t even deserve a response and they need to apologise to Nigerians and to the Supreme Court; it’s extremely provocative,” he added.

Social Media Bill: To Just Post Anything Is Unacceptable – Keyamo

A file photo of Mr Festus Keyamo.

 

 

The Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Mr Festus Keyamo, believes regulating the posts on social media is the way to go in order to bring sanity into the society.

Keyamo stated this in a series of tweets on Monday in reaction to the proposal of the Social Media Bill by the National Assembly.

He took a swipe at those condemning the bill and asked them to unblock and apologise to those who irritated them with insults.

READ ALSO: Social Media Bill Passes Second Reading In Senate

Although the minister did not support the death penalty for hate speech, he insisted that posting false information on social media was dangerous for the nation.

He stressed that there should be some penal consequences for those who deliberately go online to post false stories under the umbrella of freedom of speech.

The Social Media Bill has sparked mixed reactions from individuals and groups within and outside Nigeria.

Read Keyamo’s tweets below:

Keyamo, Alasoadura Swap As Buhari Reshuffles Cabinet

Festus Keyamo                                                                                                                     Tayo Alasoadura

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a minor reshuffle of his cabinet, five weeks after the ministers were inaugurated.

The Federal Government announced this in a statement on Tuesday by Mr Willie Bassey, the Director of Information, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

According to the statement, those affected are the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Festus Keyamo, and the Minister of State of Labour and Employment, Senator Tayo Alasoadura.

READ ALSO: Buhari Swears In Ministers

Mr Keyamo was directed to move to the Ministry of Labour and Employment as the minister of state while Senator Alasoadura would take over as the minister of state at Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

The redeployment, according to the statement, takes effect from Tuesday, September 24.

Senate President Objects As Melaye Asks Keyamo To Recite National Anthem

A drama almost played out on Friday in the Senate over the recitation of Nigeria’s national anthem.

While the lawmakers were holding a special session to screen ministerial nominees presented by President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi) stood up to asked a couple of questions.

The lawmaker directed his questions to a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Festus Keyamo, who stood on the floor of the Senate as one of the nominees.

READ ALSO: Delta APC Was Formed In My Parlour – Keyamo

Senate President Objects As Melaye Asks Keyamo To Recite National Anthem

Senator Melaye’s inquiries bordered on Mr Keyamo’s qualification to hold the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

He said, “I start by congratulating my ‘paddy’ and friend, Festus Keyamo, and our relationship actually dates some years back, not recent. I just want to start by saluting your intellectual.

“I want to quote Section 174 of the Constitution and then ask my question in that regard, section 150 talks about who is qualified to be Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.”

After asking about two questions relating to his qualification for the office, Senator Melaye asked Keyamo to recite the nation’s anthem.

“I just want to say that as a versatile minster, I know you to be intellectually mobile, you recite the second stanza of the national anthem,” he said.

However, the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan, interjected and asked the legal practitioner to ignore the recitation of the national anthem.

“That is not a question,” Senator Lawan told Senator Melaye, adding, “You have asked very direct questions.”

It is believed that a number of Nigerians cannot recite the national anthem fluently.

The nation’s anthem is mostly sung to mark the commencement of activities in primary and secondary schools, as well as government events among others.

‘Busiest In The World’, Keyamo Plans To Unbundle Supreme Court

 

A Senior Advocate of Nigerian (SAN), Festus Keyamo, has said that Nigeria’s Supreme Court is the busiest in the world and as such requires unbundling.

“Our Supreme Court is the busiest in the world and it is not just acceptable,” Festus Keyamo said while responding to a question by Senator Omo Agege during a ministerial screening exercise which held in Abuja on Friday.

Senator Omo Agege had asked Keyamo what reforms he would like to see in the justice sector if the President gives him the position of Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

Responding to the Deputy Senate President’s question, Keyamo said if he is AGF, his first duty will be to unbundle the Supreme Court, as well as bring new reforms to the judicial system.

“If I am AGF, I have the idea I call the three ‘Ds’ that would be at the heart of judicial reforms.

“The first D is the decongestion of the Supreme Court, the Second will be the decongestion of the prisons and the third one will be the decongestion of court lists,” Keyamo said.

READ ALSO: Delta APC Was Formed In My Parlour – Keyamo

The rights activist said he will not be the AGF without unbundling the Supreme Court, arguing that the kind of cases that are brought before the Apex Court are “scandalous, interlocutory appeals”.

Keyamo further stressed that the Supreme Court is burdened with appeals dealing with frivolous matters.

He also opined that Nigeria has become big enough to have six regional Supreme Courts where appeals from the regions can be handled appropriately.

The Senior Advocate said: “Land matters, contract matters, marriage and all of that” will end there.

Keyamo stated that these ‘frivolous’ matters in the Supreme Court are the reasons why many cases are still pending for years at the Apex Court, adding that ‘Justice Delayed is Justice Denied’.

Speaking further on unbundling the Supreme Court, Keyamo said if he is made the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), he will ensure that the courts in Abuja will only tend to constitutional issues, political matters, and election disputes that have to do with the interpretation of the constitution because, at that point, the nation will need the guidance of a central Supreme Court.

Delta APC Was Formed In My Parlour – Keyamo

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Festus Keyamo, says the chapter of the party in Delta State was formed at his house in Effurun.

He stated this while he was being screened as a ministerial nominee by members of the Senate on Friday in Abuja.

“I was a foundation member of the APC in Delta State,” Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) told the lawmakers.

He added, “The first major meeting held in Delta State, involving the national leaders that came, because we didn’t have a government, it is a PDP state and we didn’t have a government; that meeting was held in my house in Effurun, in my parlour.

“So, I can say APC was formed in my house in Delta State. It is not a surprise that I’m standing here today as a nominee of the APC for Delta State.”

READ ALSO: Show Commitment, Set Leah, Grace And Others Free – CAN Pleads With Buhari

Delta APC Was Formed In My Parlour – Keyamo

Keyamo said that he joined politics because of the need to be part of the group that would fix the numerous challenges facing the nation.

He was of the opinion that getting results for recommendations aimed at addressing the major issues in the country was hasty than being on the other side.

For the senior lawyer, “It is a natural inclination of governments all over the world to see critics on the outside as enemies, so they take your views with a pinch of salt.”

He explained, “It was then I took a conscious decision some years ago to be part of a political process that could get us into power.

“That conscious decision I took was because I discovered that what you can be screaming on the outside for 10 years to achieve because you are breaming with all kinds of solution to our problems on the outside…, you can achieve that in 10 minutes when you are part of government and part of a political process.”

Keyamo is one of the 43 ministerial nominees whose names were forwarded by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Senate for confirmation.

Amaechi, Akpabio Settle ‘Political Differences’

Amaechi, Akpabio Settle 'Political Differences'

 

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, and former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, have settled the perceived political differences between them.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Festus Keyamo, disclosed this in a statement sent to Channels Television on Monday.

According to him, both leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ironed out their differences when they met on April 14.

READ ALSOEdo Election Tribunal Receives 14 Petitions

“The meeting, which was at the instance of Senator Godwill Akpabio, was brokered by two chieftains of the party, Alhaji Nasiru Danu, (the Dan Amarna of Dutse) and Mr Festus Keyamo, SAN,” the spokesman for the APC Presidential Campaign Council said.

He added, “Alhaji Danu, was one of the Directors of Logistics of the APC Presidential Campaign Council and a long-time ally of President Muhammadu Buhari while Mr Keyamo was the Director of Strategic Communications of the APC Presidential Campaign Council.”

 

The SAN explained that the meeting which lasted several hours took place at the private residence of Mr Danu in the Asokoro region of Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He disclosed that the former governors “frankly and honestly” talked about their disagreements from their days as governors while they were both in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Keyamo added that Amaechi and Akpabio discussed and analysed the performance of the APC in the South-South region in the just-concluded elections and identified areas where things went wrong and how to improve those areas in future.

“At the end, both leaders agreed to close ranks and work in unison for the overall interest of the party in the country,” he said.

“They promised to put behind them all previously perceived misgivings between them and to give a positive direction to the teeming supporters of the party across the country.”

Electronic Transmission Is Neither Contained In Electoral Act, Nor INEC’s Guidelines – Keyamo

Mr Festus Keyamo

 

Festus Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has said that the videos circulating all over social media showing how February 23, 2019, presidential election was allegedly rigged are of consequence because they do not align with the provisions of the law. 

Keyamo in a series of tweets on Thursday warned that whatever video or electronic evidence that some may claim to have,  do not align with the electoral act nor do they align with guidelines as stipulated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Keyamo tweeted:

READ ALSO: Buhari’s Cabinet Remains Intact Until May 22, Says Lai Mohammed

INEC had declared Muhammadu Buhari of the APC, winner of the presidential election with 15,191,847 votes, as against PDP’s Atiku Abubakar’s 11,262,978 votes.

However, the Peoples Democratic Party and Atiku claimed that some results purportedly obtained from the INEC server showed that Atiku actually scored a total of 18,356,732 votes, and Buhari 16,741,430 votes.

Both PDP and Atiku claim to be in possession of certain documents proving that he won the presidential election overwhelmingly with 1.6m votes.

The PDP and Atiku have since filed a petition, precisely on March 20, to challenge President Buhari’s reelection, with APC and INEC as co-respondent.

You Do Not Need A WAEC Certificate To Become President Or Governor – Festus Keyamo

 

 

Festus Keyamo has argued that one does not need to have a WAEC certificate to become President of Nigeria. 

Keyamo made this assertion while featuring as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

He said “There are other levels of qualifications to run for the office of President. In fact, if you have occupied the public office for a reasonable length of time, by the provisions of the constitution, you do not even need a WAEC certificate to become President of Nigeria”.

Keyamo who is director strategic communications of President Muhammadu Buhari, 2019 presidential campaign, also argued that Buhari’s certificate is not in question because WAEC itself confirmed that the President passed his examination and was issued a certificate.

READ ALSO: Citizenship: Sowunmi, Keyamo Disagree Over Atiku’s Eligibility To Contest Election

“It becomes extremely foolish for anybody who is not statutorily empowered to issue WAEC certificates to come and challenge the body that has the statutory power to issue certificates,” he said.

In differentiating between President Buhari’s case and the situation with Senator Ademola Adeleke, Keyamo noted via Twitter that the case in Osun state borders upon a forgery.

Keyamo also spoke about the motion filed by the APC claiming that Atiku Abubakar, is a Cameroonian.

He said the matter was already in court and as a senior member of the bar, he cannot go into details about it.

He, however, advised “those who are informed” to go and read thoroughly Section 131 in conjunction with Section 25 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Citizenship: Sowunmi, Keyamo Disagree Over Atiku’s Eligibility To Contest Election

INEC Denying Atiku Access To Election Materials Despite Court Order, Says PDP
A file photo of former vice president, Atiku Abubakar.

 

The spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Segun Sowunmi, and that of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Festus Keyamo, have disagreed on the citizenship of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

Both men, who appeared as guests on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, made different remarks about the eligibility of the PDP candidate to contest the presidential election.

They, however, exercised restraint on how they addressed the issue as the matter was already in court.

Sowunmi believes the claims by the APC that Atiku is not a Nigerian are just part of the purported acts of the ruling party to distract the former vice president from reclaiming his mandate.


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Mr Segun Sowunmi

 

He insisted that the PDP candidate was one of the citizens of the country, stressing that Nigeria has 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, and Adamawa was one of them.

“Atiku Abubakar has been the former vice president of this country and I think that when this kind of issues come up, you begin to query who exactly and what exactly is the geographical expression of Nigeria,” the PDP member said.

He wondered how such an allegation could emerge when Atiku is the Waziri of Adamawa, adding that he was a top Customs officer for more than 20 years before he retired.

Sowunmi stressed that most Nigerians know a lot about Atiku’s background and affirmed that everything about the former vice president was that of Nigeria.

“I actual fact, Atiku’s grandfather is from Sokoto,” he said.

The PDP campaign spokesman stated explained, “Atiku’s grandfather followed his friend to Adamawa then was Gongola, and Atiku’s grandfather gave birth to Atiku’s father there. But it has never been under guesswork that Atiku is a full-fledged bona fide Nigerian.”

In his response, Keyamo who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria noted that the matter was already in court and as a senior member of the bar, he cannot go into details about it.

He, however, advised “those who are informed” to go and read thoroughly Section 131 in conjunction with Section 25 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Mr Festus Keyamo

 

The APC member disclosed that the decision to test the matter in court was a collective decision reach by more than 18 senior advocates representing the President and the APC at the Election Petition Tribunal.

He stressed that the fact that Atiku served as a vice president for eight years does not make him a Nigerian, saying, “That is irrelevant.”

“Did you have access to security reports then; did the court look at that issue at that time? We are talking of qualifications to be President of Nigeria, not qualifications to be a Customs officer,” Keyamo stated.

He said that the matter has never been tested in court before does not provide a platform for someone to keep doing “something that is wrong”.

The senior advocate noted that the issue of citizenship was just one of the six grounds raised to challenge the petition filed by the PDP at the Tribunal.

He said, “I can tell you for free that since 1960, this is the most useless petition that has been presented before any court of law, or any Tribunal to adjudicate.”

Chidoka, Keyamo Disagree Over Results From The North

 

 

The spokespersons for the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr Osita Chidoka and the Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation, Mr Festus Keyamo have disagreed over the presidential results from the north as released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Both men were at the Collation Centre, today,  in Abuja, where figures from all states regarding the presidential elections are being collated.

While expressing worries at the figures released by the commission from some northern states, Chidoka of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asked the INEC boss, Professor Yakubu Mahmood, to provide details of the accreditation of voters captured by card readers in the general elections.

READ ALSO: PDP Demands Stoppage Of Collation Of Results By INEC

“The issue before us Mr. Chairman is that we will appreciate, and we feel very strongly about this and the PDP Chairman (Mr. Uche Secondus) has written you a letter. We are worried that the promise you made and the commitment INEC made that as we are carrying out this collation of results, that you will project the details of the accreditations captured by your card readers in the country.

“Yesterday (Monday), our colleague raised the issue and we thought that when we come in this morning as we were listening to the states, we will be seeing the accreditation by states and by your card readers.

“Please Mr Chairman, we will like it to be on record that we want to see the accreditation by the card readers for Bauchi, Borno, Yobe in particular and then of course for the rest of the country because the numbers we are seeing seems to be like we live in two countries,” he stated.

In reaction to Chidoka’s comments, Keyamo of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said the PDP spokesman’s request goes contrary to Clauses 32 and 35 of INEC’s regulations.

READ ALSO: Akpabio Loses Senatorial Seat In Akwa Ibom

“I just want to react to what my colleague of the PDP said. My simple reaction is that what we are doing here is guided by law and the regulations of INEC.

“In the regulations of INEC, if one looks at Clauses 32 to 35, it clearly states the powers of the Chairman of INEC sitting at this Collation Centre and those powers of INEC Chairman does not involve the inquisition, the type of inquisition that my friend is asking for.

“The details that my friend is asking for amounts to an inquisition into the results submitted to the Chairman of INEC. There is a proper avenue into how many people were captured by the card readers and all of that and compared into the results.

“That is not the duties of the Chairman sitting at this Collation Centre and those procedures are clearly spelt out there. So for us as a party, for my candidate, we are totally objecting to that procedure here,” he stated.

In his response, Professor Yakubu said the request made by the PDP’s spokesperson should be channeled to the Commission’s headquarters.

Chidoka, Keyamo Disagree Over Collation Process

 

The spokesperson for the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr Osita Chidoka and that of the Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation, Mr Festus Keyamo on Tuesday disagreed over the presidential results from the North as released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Both men were at the Collation Centre in Abuja, the nation’s capital, where INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu addressed the stakeholders three days after the Presidential and the National Assembly elections were conducted across the country.

While expressing worries at the figures released by the commission from some northern states, Chidoka of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asked the INEC boss to provide details of the accreditation of voters captured by card readers in the general elections.

“Yesterday (Monday), our colleague raised the issue and we thought that when we come in this morning as we are listening to the states, we will be seeing the accreditation by the states by your card readers.

“Please Mr. Chairman, we will like it to be on record that we want to see the accreditation by the card readers for Bauchi, Borno, Yobe in particular and then of course for the rest of the country because the numbers we are seeing seem to be like we live in two countries,” he stated.

But in response, Keyamo said Chidoka’s request was contrary to Clauses 32 and 35 of INEC’s regulations.

“I just want to react to what my colleague of the PDP said. My simple reaction is that what we are doing here is guided by law and the regulations of INEC.

“In the regulations of INEC, if one looks at Clauses 32 to 35, it clearly states the powers of the Chairman of INEC sitting at this Collation Centre and those powers of INEC Chairman do not involve the inquisition, the type of inquisition that my friend is asking for.

“The details that my friend is asking for amounts to an inquisition into the results submitted to the Chairman of INEC. There is a proper avenue into how many people were captured by the card readers and all of that and compared with the results.

“That is not the duties of the Chairman sitting at this Collation Centre and those procedures are clearly spelt out there. So for us as a party, for my candidate, we are totally objecting to that procedure here,” he stated.

In his response, the INEC boss said the request made by the PDP’s spokesperson should be channeled to the Commission’s headquarters.