Festus Egwarewa Keyamo, born on January 21, 1970, in Ughelli, Delta State, Nigeria, is a prominent Nigerian lawyer, columnist, and human rights activist. With a rich history in legal practice, human rights advocacy, and political appointments, Keyamo’s journey has been marked by significant milestones and recognition. Let’s delve into the life and career of this distinguished individual.
Festus Keyamo Early Life and Education:
Keyamo’s educational journey began at Model Primary School, and he later attended Government College, Ughelli, where he obtained the West African School Certificate in 1986. His pursuit of legal education led him to Ambrose Alli University, where he earned a Bachelor of Law degree in 1992 and was called to the Nigerian Bar in December 1993.
Festus Keyamo Legal Career:
Commencing his legal career at Gani Fawehinmi’s Chambers in Lagos, Keyamo spent two years there before establishing Festus Keyamo Chambers. Noteworthy legal cases include representing the leader of the Niger-Delta Peoples’ Volunteer Force, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, and leading the defense in the treason trial of Ralph Uwazuruike. In 2008, Keyamo took the Federal Government of Nigeria to court over illegal appointments of service chiefs.
In 2017, he gained attention for representing Stephanie Otobo, a Canadian-based singer, in her case against Apostle Suleman Johnson, accusing him of breaking a marriage promise.
Festus Keyamo Political Appointments:
Keyamo’s foray into politics saw him nominated as a minister in the second administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. Initially appointed as Nigeria’s Minister of State for Niger Delta in August 2019, he was later redeployed to the Ministry of Labour and Employment in September of the same year. Notably, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu appointed him as the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development on August 16, 2023.
Festus Keyamo Awards and Recognitions:
Keyamo’s contributions to the legal field were acknowledged by the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC) in July 2017 when he was awarded the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). In the same year, he received the Global Human Rights Award from the United States Global Leadership Council in Washington for his longstanding efforts in promoting human rights and advocating for accountable governance in Nigeria.
Festus Keyamo’s journey from a legal luminary to a minister in the Nigerian government is a testament to his dedication and influence. With accolades such as the SAN title and global recognition for his human rights efforts, Keyamo remains a prominent figure in Nigeria’s legal and political landscape.