Festus Egwarewa Keyamo populary known as Festus Keyamo is a prominent Nigerian lawyer, columnist, and human rights activist. Born on January 21, 1970, in Ughelli, Delta State, Nigeria, Keyamo has made significant contributions to the legal field and has been recognized for his work in promoting human rights and accountable governance in Nigeria. Throughout his career, he has taken on high-profile cases, served in various political appointments, and received prestigious awards for his achievements.
Festus Keyamo Early Life and Education
Keyamo spent his early years in Ughelli, Delta State, where he attended Model Primary School. He later pursued his secondary education at Government College, Ughelli, and obtained the West African School Certificate in 1986. Continuing his academic journey, Keyamo enrolled at Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma, Edo State, where he earned a Bachelor of Law degree in 1992. He was subsequently called to the Nigerian Bar in December 1993.
After completing his education, Keyamo began his legal career at Gani Fawehinmi’s Chambers in Lagos State. He gained valuable experience during his two-year tenure at the renowned law firm before establishing his own practice, Festus Keyamo Chambers. Throughout his career, Keyamo has handled several high-profile cases, representing notable individuals and organizations.
He served as counsel to Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, the leader of the Niger-Delta Peoples’ Volunteer Force, in his trial for treasonable felony. Keyamo also acted as lead counsel in the treason trial of Ralph Uwazuruike, the leader of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB). Additionally, he played a significant role as counsel in the murder trial of Bola Ige, a prominent Nigerian politician.
In 2008, Keyamo took the Federal Government of Nigeria to court over illegal appointments of service chiefs, showcasing his commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring transparency in governance.
Keyamo’s expertise and reputation led to his involvement in various political appointments. In April 2018, he was appointed as the director of Strategic Communications for President Buhari’s re-election bid in the 2019 elections. Later that year, he was appointed as Nigeria’s Minister of State for Niger Delta, a position he held until September 2019 when he was redeployed to the Ministry of Labour and Employment by President Buhari.
In August 2023, following his nomination by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Keyamo was appointed as the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, further expanding his political influence and responsibilities.
Awards and Recognitions
Keyamo’s contributions to the legal field and his dedication to promoting human rights have earned him several prestigious awards and recognitions. In July 2017, he was named by the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC) as one of the outstanding Nigerian lawyers to be awarded the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). He was officially inaugurated into the league of Senior Advocates of Nigeria in September 2017.
In the same year, Keyamo was honored with the Global Human Rights Award by the United States Global Leadership Council in Washington. This recognition acknowledged his tireless efforts in protecting and promoting human rights and advocating for accountable governments in Nigeria.
Moreover, in 2023, Keyamo was among the distinguished individuals awarded the national honor by former President Muhammadu Buhari for their significant contributions to the development of Nigeria.
Festus Keyamo Net Worth
Festus Keyamo is considered one of Nigeria’s most successful lawyers. His estimated net worth is approximately $1.5 million.
Keyamo married Isioma Irene Keyamo on May 15, 2004, in Benin City. They have two children named Nicole Keyamo and Fes Keyamo Jr.
Throughout his career, Festus Keyamo has been involved in various controversies. From his early days as a lawyer working with Chief Gani Fawehinmi to his tenure as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecutor, Keyamo has consistently been at the center of controversy. One notable controversy involved his involvement in the trial of the suspected murderer of Chief Bola Ige, the late Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice. Additionally, there was a dispute between Keyamo and Charly Boy and his “Our Mumu Don Do” group, where Keyamo denied paying any money for a politically charged music video.