Festus Keyamo: Buhari Will Win 2019 Presidential Election

Not minding the gale of defections currently rocking the fold of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation has boasted that President Buhari can still record an outstanding victory in the 2019 presidential election.

The official spokesperson of the campaign team, Mr. Festus Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), in a statement issued on Sunday, said, “the latest defections by some National Assembly members and the Governor of Benue State will not harm the re-election of President Buhari in the 2019 general elections,” rather, it will further strengthen the party in Buhari’s favour.

Keyamo, also the Director of Strategic Communications for Buhari’s reelection campaign contended that “this would even be so if the much-rumoured two more governors also defect from the All Progressives Congress (APC), as he said, the President had always won in most areas where the defectors came from without their input.

According to him, “the President won with large margins in the past in some states without the support of majority of the politicians from those states who moved recently to join the opposition party.”

He said, “we are all witnessing the significant gains Mr. President is making in several places where he lost in the past, notably in the south-south and south-east, adding that, ” from the demographics we have now, the historical figures and the present realities that we know, these defections will have little or no impact on the chances of Mr. President’s re-election.”

His analysis of the situation is presented below:

Effect of defection on the 12 states consistently won by the President

“The following 12 States, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Yobe and Niger, with over 30 million registered voters, are states the President had consistently won with considerable large margins in past elections, especially in 2011 and 2015. This was achieved despite the fact that most of those States were being controlled by political parties other than his own.

“In 2011, when the President was in CPC, despite being states with sitting opposition Governors, National Assembly members, State Assembly Members and Local Government Chairmen, the President posted close to 11 million votes against all odds, defeating all his rivals in these 12 states mentioned above.

“In 2015 despite the majority of these states being in opposition after the merger that formed the APC, the President posted close to 11 million votes again in these states with PDP not scoring up to 12 per cent of the votes in most of these States. It is instructive that in these election cycles there were presidential candidates of Northern extraction (e.g. Shekarau and Ribadu in 2011). Besides, Kaduna had a sitting Vice President in both elections.

“As we can see, any defection within these states would have little or no consequence on President Muhammadu Buhari’s chances as he had always won those states, irrespective of the party in power in those states. For example, in the much-touted Kano, in the 2011 Presidential Election, President Buhari scored One million, six hundred and twenty four thousand, five hundred and forty-three (1,624,543) votes as CPC candidate, while in 2015, he had one million, nine hundred and three thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine (1,903,999) votes as APC candidate.

“The vote difference of about two hundred and eighty thousand (280,000) votes may be attributed to elements of ANPP, negligible ACN and Senator Kwakwanso, then governor of the state that came into APC.

“Today, the President’s popularity in these States has increased due to the fight against Boko Haram which has been largely successful. So, he should expect more votes from these strongholds.”

Effect of defections on nine states the president lost in 2011 but won in 2015

“The following nine states, Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Kwara, Kogi, Adamawa and Benue, are states the President lost in 2011 but won in 2015.

“The five south-western states have registered voters strength of more than 14 million out of the about 20 million voters in these nine states. Today, those five states are being controlled by the APC. Ekiti will join before the 2019 election after Governor Kayode Fayemi is sworn in for a second term in office. All the political gladiators in those south-western states that helped to tilt the election in favour of the President in 2015 are still solidly with him and more have joined. The entire defunct ACN structures that moved into APC are solidly behind the President. In terms of defections in the western states, the party has gained more than it has lost as the likes of Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, Senator (Mrs) Fatima Raji-Rasaki, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Senator Gbenga Kaka, former Governor Adebayo (Alao) Akala, to mention a few, are now with APC.

“To underscore the rising profile of the party in these states, the people of Ondo State and Ekiti state decided to entrust their states in the hands of the APC by voting out the previous PDP governments. Furthermore, these states are well represented in government with a sitting Vice President, important ministerial portfolios and prominent members of the economic team. So, we can only expect more votes, not less, from the west.

“Adamawa, Kwara, Kogi and Benue states, with over six million registered voters, all had Governors from other parties in 2011, with Senator Bukola Saraki being the PDP governor of Kwara State. In the four states, as the presidential candidate of CPC, the President posted six hundred and seventy thousand and eighty (670,080) votes, while ACN the other legacy party of APC posted three hundred and fourteen thousand seven hundred and forty-one (314,741) votes, making a total of nine hundred and eighty-four thousand seven hundred and forty-one (984,741) votes when combined.

“In 2015, with only one APC Governor among the four states, the President posted total votes of one million three hundred and fifteen thousand six hundred and fifty-nine (1,315,659) in the four states, gaining over three hundred and thirty thousand (330,000) votes. Today, with APC in charge of three out of the four states, especially with Senator Gbemi Saraki and Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information, leading the efforts in Kwara State and the APC structure in Benue State still firmly in the hands of Senator George Akume (the same structure on which Governor Ortom rode to victory) the defection of the Senators from these states will have little or no effect on the difference gained.

Effect of defections on 15 states lost by the President in 2015

The President lost 15 states (comprising 11 states of the South East and South South and Plateau, Taraba, Nassarawa and Ekiti states) in the 2015 elections, despite his overall victory.

Apart from having Governors in Edo and Imo states, the exemplary work of the President in the South East and South South, especially in terms of infrastructural developments, like the Second Niger bridge and a whole lot of road constructions, APC is on the rise in these states and this momentum will surely rub off on the electoral fortunes of the President. This can be seen in the high-level defections to the APC in the last three years in these states and more are coming. The recent election in Anambra is also a testimony to the rising profile of the party in the east. In 2015 the President scored 17,926 votes in Anambra.

“The most recent governorship election saw APC come second with over 98,000 votes, defeating PDP in the process. This is a pattern we expect in the 2019 elections throughout the South East and South South as compared to the last elections. The President can only amass more votes from these regions and not less than 2015.

“In the remaining four states of Ekiti, Plateau, Taraba and Nassarawa, where the President lost in the 2015 election with a margin of 260,000, all the states had sitting opposition Governors except Nassarawa. Ekiti and Plateau states will have sitting APC Governors in February 2019 to help sell his candidacy and we have also seen the defection of some serving and past Senators from Ekiti State to the APC. With this, we expect a reduction in the margin or an outright victory.

“Even if there are going to be defections from APC in these four States, we don’t see the margin of loss expanding beyond the 260,000 given that the states had majority opposition Governors at the point the President suffered these losses.

Harvest of defections in the 2019 election cycle

“And lastly, whilst the PDP harvest of defections is gradually winding down, the harvest of the APC is about to begin in respect of the following:

a) Disgruntled members from the opposition whose structures are bound to be marginalised as a fall out of the absorption and recognition of the structures of the incoming defectors by the national bodies of the various parties.

b) Dissatisfied members whose aspirations are thwarted because of automatic tickets given to the defectors. They are talking to us already.

c) Disgruntled elements from the fallout of the primaries of the Parties, especially the main opposition party.

“It is noteworthy that President Muhammadu Buhari is going into this election as an incumbent enjoying the support of a lot more Governors, Senators, House of Representative members, House of Assembly members and Local Government Chairmen than he ever had. Equally, the odds are no more stacked up against the President as he will see to a truly free and fair election as witnessed in elections conducted in the last three years. We expect the soaring popularity of the President to be reflected in the 2019 elections.

“The PDP may claim that these figures count for nothing and that the President has been tested in the last three years and found wanting. However, in the last three years, what has been more exposed and Nigerians have seen is the extent of damage inflicted on the country in the last 16 years by PDP, damage the President and his team are working tirelessly to fix. No matter the impatience some Nigerians have shown with Buhari, they just don’t want to go back to PDP. That is why PDP have lost all the critical electoral contests since 2015 (Kogi, Edo, Anambra, Ekiti and Ondo States).

“In the final analyses, despite all the noise from our ‘noisy neighbours,’ we may be in for a landslide victory for the President in 2019.”

Buhari Appoints Keyamo, Six Others As NDIC Board Members

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), and six others as members of the board of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Keyamo is to represent Delta State on the board.

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, read the letter from Buhari at the plenary on Tuesday in which he sought legislative approval for the appointments.

Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, who is spearheading Buhari’s re-election campaign, had recently appointed Keyamo as spokesman for the Buhari Campaign Organisation.


Keyamo: Supreme Court Didn’t Sack Pinnick, Giwa Case Sent Back To High Court

The Supreme Court of Nigeria have not sacked the current board of the Nigerian Football Federation contrary to some reports on social media.

According to NFF legal counsel, Festus Keyamo, the case has only been referred back to the court where it began.

Chris Giwa dragged the current NFF board to the Supreme Court after he was unsatisfied with an earlier unfavourable verdict from the Appeal Court and the Federal High Court, insisting that the mandate given to his alleged board at the Chida Hotel, Abuja by the congress of the NFF in August 2013 should be upheld.

But in a tweet from the official handle of the NFF quoting Keyamo on Friday, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria explained the Supreme Court verdict.

“Nobody should cause unnecessary panic in Nigeria’s football,” Keyamo was quoted on the official Twitter handle of the NFF.

“That’s my case. Supreme Court DID NOT NULLIFY AMAJU ‘s Election.The Supreme Court did NOT remove Amaju from office.

“The Supreme Court only referred the case back to the Federal High Court to be tried properly to know which of the elections held in 2014 was right.

“Amaju was NOT a party to the case at the Supreme Court so the court could not have removed a party from office without joining the party and hearing from the party.”

Other NFF officials also clarified the ruling, insisting that their board is still in charge and Nigeria’s Russia 2018 World Cup plans are on course.

Festus Keyamo Appointed Spokesperson Of Buhari 2019 Campaign

Legal Practitioner and Human Rights Activist, Festus Keyamo SAN has been appointed as the Director, Strategic Communications (Official Spokesperson) for President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 Presidential Campaigns.

The appointment is contained in a letter dated 16th April, 2018 and signed by the Director General of the Buhari 2019 Campaign Organization, Rotimi Amaechi.

The letter was posted on his verified Twitter Handle on Tuesday morning. He is expected to however release an official statement on the appointment later.


Festus Keyamo Attacks Police Over Oby Ezekwesili

Senior Advocate of Nigeri, SAN Festus Keyamo, has said the arrest of members of BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) advocacy group leader, Oby Ezekwesili by the men of the Nigerian Police Force is “insensitive and insensate”.

The senior lawyer maintained that the arrest was “unjustified” and was a “violent violation of human rights.”

In a statement he signed and sent to newsmen, the senior lawyer urged the police to apologise to the advocacy group.

Keyamo also reiterated his earlier call that the IGP, Ibrahim Idris should immediately resign from his position.

The statement reads, “I just read with shock, bewilderment and disillusionment the arrest by the Nigerian Police of members of Bring Back Our Girls movement who gathered for a peaceful protest at the Unity Fountain in Abuja earlier today.

“This arrest is one too many, especially coming on the heels of the recent illegal arrest and detention of some on-line journalists by the same Police, acting at the behest of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris.

“I am still struggling to come to terms with the explanation given by the Police for the arrest, which is the absence of a permit by the members of the group. This moronic excuse is not only inexcusable, it is laughable as Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) guarantees the right to PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY and association. The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, has also re-iterated that a police permit is NOT REQUIRED for such a gathering in the case of IGP V. ANPP & ORS (2007) 18 NWLR (PT. 1066) PG. 457.

“Though, I understand that the members of the group have been released from the Police Station to which they were taken, it does not detract from the fact that detention of a citizen, no matter how brief, so long as it is unjustified, is a violent violation of human rights. The law is very clear on this as stated by the Court of Appeal in the case of DURUAKU V. NWOKE (2015) 15 NWLR (PT. 1483) PG. 417, particularly at 471 Par F-G.

“I therefore call on the Nigerian Police to IMMEDIATELY apologise to the members of the group for this unwarranted, unjustified and provocative trespass on their persons and deprivation of their freedoms.

“I also re-iterate my call for the removal of the Inspector-General of Police from office for these unpardonable and inexplicable infractions of the fundamental rights of citizens of our country”

Keyamo Asks Buhari To Remove IGP Idris Over Unlawful Arrest Of Elombah Brothers

Human Rights Activist, and famous lawyer Mr Festus Keyamo, SAN, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to remove the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Kpotum Idris for high-handedness and Abuse of office in ordering the illegal arrest and detention of online journalists, Daniel Elombah and Tim Elombah.

Keyamo who made the request in a letter written to President Buhari dated 15, January accused the IGP of displaying personal vendetta by refusing to release Tim Elombah long after the detention order granted by an Area Court Judge has expired.

The Senior Advocate who narrated how the Elombah brothers were abducted from their home town in Edoji, Uruagu Nnewi, Anambra state, said that a situation where Mr President’s appointees ride rough shod over innocent citizens or use the positions to which Mr President appointed them to settle personal scores should, ordinarily, rankle the President and cause him to intervene.

“Your Excellency, it is shocking and alarming, to say the least, that the Inspector-General of Police deployed the officers and men of special police squads like SARS and STS, which are established to fight serious and violent crimes, to settle a purely private grievance with on-line journalists. If at all an offence was committed by the said published article (which is not conceded) a simple civil invitation to our clients would have sufficed. But to use such strong-arm tactics to reign in our clients was a gross abuse of his office and an employment of stone-age tactics in pursuing his personal grievance.

“He has further displayed his personal vendetta by refusing to release Tim Elombah long after the detention order has expired. This is one of the worst forms of abuse of human rights.

“Your Excellency, such practices should be clearly unacceptable under your watch. A situation where your appointees ride rough shod over innocent citizens or use the positions to which you appointed them to settle personal scores should, ordinarily, rankle you and cause you to intervene. It should be more so as the substance of the matter has to do with the criticism of the personal life of a public officer by the Fourth Estate of the Realm, a practice that has come to be recognized as one of the components of a thriving democracy. If a public officer cannot tolerate or stomach harsh criticisms, he has no business occupying public office.

“It is in the light of the above we urge you to use your good offices to order an investigation into this crass display of power and indiscretion by the Inspector-General of Police and mete out appropriate sanctions against him, which may include the extreme step of relieving him of his position.”

Keyamo’ petition further said that “On or about the 1st day of January, 2018, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, caused the men and officers of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad to invade the family compound of our clients in Edoji, Uruagu Nnewi, Anambra State. Six persons (including our clients) were arrested, handcuffed like common criminals and driven to the SARS office in Nnewi. They were subsequently taken to the SARS headquarters in Awkuzu, near Awka. Up till this point, our clients were not informed of the reason(s) for their arrests.

“It was at SARS headquarters in Awkuzu that our clients were handed over to other armed officers who identified themselves as being from Special Tactical Squad, S.T.S, a team that works directly in the office of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris. Our clients and one Izuchukwu Elombah were then taken all the way by road (and in handcuffs) to Abuja.

“It was in Abuja that the officers then subjected our clients to hours of grueling interrogation regarding an article published in another blog called opinionnigeria.com, titled ‘IGP Ibrahim Idris’s Unending Baggage of Controversies”. The article in question was not published by our clients’ blog, Elombah.com, and our clients denied any link to the author, one Ebiowei Dickson. Daniel and Izuchukwu Elombah were eventually released on bail, but have been made to report constantly since then.

“However, the Police got a Remand Order to detain Tim for seven days which expired more than a week ago and the Police are still holding Tim illegally. We now understand that the Police have prepared a Charge against our clients and they would soon be arraigned.”