Enter Keyamo, SAN - Paul Ukpabio's Blog

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Friday, 14 July 2017

Enter Keyamo, SAN



BY Louis Odion FNGE

In his characterization of the good lawyer, iconic Separa William described him/her as one devoted to the protection and direction of his/her people. 

The words of Nigeria's first solicitor in history were uttered in the 19th century. He could have been speaking of Festus Keyamo, the people's lawyer, recently admitted into the elite echelon of the Senior Advocates of Nigeria.

It is a honour well deserved.

Brilliant, eloquent and courageous, Festus' professional trajectory over the years has been a profile in dedication to the common good; deploying law as a tool for social justice for the most vulnerable in the society, a platform to speak truth to power, wrestle with entrenched interests. 

At huge personal risk, he rallied and led "a million man march" against Abacha on Lagos streets in 1998 to counter Daniel Kanu's rented YEAA (Youth Earnestly Ask for Abacha) rooting for the dictator's transmutation to civilian president at a time when the price for dissent in Nigeria was bullet and bomb. 

On a personal note, Festus and I met and began our careers in law and journalism respectively in Lagos twenty-five years ago and have over the years grown from being friends to brothers. He has proved a fiercely loyal friend, in good times and in bad times. The kind of friend who sticks closer than a brother. 

Big congrats, my brother.

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