Jonathan undermines, trivialises fight against corruption - Keyamo

Festus Keyamo

Festus Keyamo

Eromosele Ebhomele

Festus Keyamo
Festus Keyamo

For the second time in three days, Festus Keyamo, a Nigeria-based lawyer and kinsman of President Goodluck Jonathan, has discredited the president by slamming him for appointing Femi Fani-Kayode who is known to be facing corruption charges as Director of Publicity, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organisation.

Keyamo said it was even distasteful to note that Fani-Kayode is supposedly being prosecuted by the same Jonathan government that has suddenly appointed him to champion the media and publicity angle of the Jonathan Campaign Organisation.

Keyamo had earlier accused Jonathan of trying to run Nigeria down and saying his inactivity had given him away as one of Nigeria’s weakest presidents.

In a statement signed by Keyamo on Tuesday, he said: “I have just read the diatribe of Chief Femi Fani-Kayode against me in reaction to my submission in my earlier release of Sunday, January 18, 2015, that the President has no single aversion against corruption by appointing him as spokesperson for his campaign organisation when he is facing corruption charges in court. And that this is made worse by the fact that the campaign is dominated by the theme of corruption. Chief Fani-Kayode in his response, claims that ‘Mr. Keyamo is motivated by malice, pettiness, showmanship and vengeance’.

“Nothing can be farther from the truth. There is no personal history or relationship between Chief Fani-Kayode and myself either by consanguinity, friendship, childhood association, family ties, etc to actuate malice, pettiness or vengeance.

“Chief Fani-Kayode has also forgotten that in the jurisprudence of criminal trials, it is the state that is prosecuting him and not me. Now, here is the tragedy of this scenario: all prosecutions are done in the name and with the authority of the Federal Government headed by the president. It follows that the president even undermines and trivialises the efforts of Federal Government agencies in the fight against corruption.

“Instead of being the catalyst in that fight, the president is now the cog in the wheel of progress in the fight against corruption. It is akin to a man who derides prostitutes in the day, but sneaks into red light zones at night. It is hypocrisy per excellence; it is blowing hot and cold at the same time; it amounts to probating and reprobating.

“Permit me the immodesty to say that I have a rich history of engaging the authorities, taking on the high and mighty, and confronting governments on issues of corruption, maladministration and the rule of law. Besides, I speak for millions of voiceless Nigerians who listen daily to the falsehoods, barefaced lies and chicanery of the likes of Femi Fani-Kayode when they defend the indefensible.

“Finally, Chief Fani-Kayode alluded to the fact that because the remaining counts in the criminal charge pending against him only contain few millions of naira that he allegedly laundered, it is not a case to be taken seriously.

“Chief Fani-Kayode should bear in mind that the court, and not me, has actually ruled that he has a case to answer on the remaining counts. He should also remember that in a criminal trial, one count is as serious as two hundred counts in a charge, so long as it contains allegation of infraction of the law.

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“Unfortunately, Chief Fani-Kayode has just helped me to further make the point that the perspective of Mr. President in the fight against corruption is so warped that Mr. President only sees corruption in terms of the volume of the loot involved.

“No wonder, Mr. President went to Enugu the other day and claimed that it was wrong for Jim Nwobodo to have been convicted by the Buhari administration in 1984 because the money involved was so infinitesimal!

“It follows that everything the president believes in the fight against corruption has come together in the singular act of appointing Fani-Kayode as his spokesman, and that is:

1. Nobody should be punished for corruption if the amount allegedly stolen is not too much.

2. Nobody should be punished for corruption if the person can be vociferous in support of the government.

3. Nobody should be punished for corruption if the allegation is mere stealing since “stealing is not corruption”.

4. The President has no qualms working with people who are actually accused of and standing trial for corruption. He has no balls to tell them to take a back seat in the scheme of things until they clear themselves.

5. The President does not believe in the seriousness of the work of anti-corruption agencies, hence he can ignore a Charge as serious as money laundering pending against his Director of Media and Publicity – the image and face of his campaign.

6. Finally, the President is insensitive to public opinion on corruption that is why he can still retain Femi Fani-Kayode as his Director of Media and Publicity despite public disgust and disillusionment since I blew the lid off his cover about his pending trial for money-laundering.

“God save our country with this President,” Keyamo said in the statement.