Any attempts by Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar to announce himself as president without going to court to challenge his defeat against President Muhammadu Buhari during the 2019 election may land him in prison for treason as it will be since as trying to run a parallel government.
Festus Keyamo (SAN), Director Strategic Communication of the APC Presidential Campaign Council made a bold claim when he told the former vice-president that the All Progressives Congress (APC) are prepared to meet him in court.
Atiku claimed that Buhari rigged the election and set machinery in place that enabled him win the elections but Keyamo, in a statement explained that the court was the only democratic way of making his grievances known.
He stressed the council was not in any way prevailing on the former Vice President not to challenge the outcome of the exercise in court.
Keyamo denied reports the council has written to some international organisations and development partners to prevail on Atiku not to challenge the outcome in Court.
He said: “Our attention has been drawn to some news item and posts on social media reporting that we wrote a letter to some international bodies to prevail on Alhaji Atiku Abubakar not to proceed to court to challenge the result of the 2019 Presidential Election.
“Our investigation reveals that a letter to that effect was purportedly written by a certain ‘Buhari Campaign Organisation.’
“This is the second time we will be informing the public that the said ‘Buhari Campaign Organisation’ does not act at the behest of the APC Presidential Campaign Council nor does it represent the Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation in any way.
“As a result, whatever it has released does not represent the position of the APC Presidential Campaign Council or President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Our official position is that we believe that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has a constitutional right to seek redress in court and we do not seek in any way to curtail that right.
“In fact, it is the resort to court that is the only democratic way to ventilate his perceived grievance and any attempt to restrict or discourage the exercise of such right would be an invitation to anarchy.
“In addition, we are very anxious to meet Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in court in order to show the world in a conclusive manner the free and fair nature of the comprehensive defeat of Atiku at the polls. An election is not termed ‘rigged’ only by the mere claim of it by the loser.
“That is what Atiku and the PDP want to ram down our throats. Unfortunately for them, international, continental and sub-regional observers (who can be seen as neutral by all standards) all declared the election to be free, fair and credible. No ego-massaging narrative can change that.
“We therefore totally disassociate ourselves from the letter purportedly written by one of, perhaps, many support groups of President Muhammadu Buhari. They may have a right to their opinion, but it does not represent our official position.”
Keyamo began his legal career in 1993 at Gani Fawehinmi’s Chambers in Lagos State, southwestern Nigeria. After he spent two years at Gani Fawehinmi’s chambers, he left to establish Festus Keyamo Chambers.
He was counsel to the leader of the Niger-Delta Peoples’ Volunteer Force, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari in his trial for treasonable felony and lead counsel in the treason trial of Ralph Uwazuruike, the leader of the Movement For The Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB). Keyamo was also a counsel in the murder of Bola Ige. In 2008, he took the Federal Government of Nigeria to court over illegal appointments of service chiefs.
In 2017, Stephanie Otobo, a Canadian-based singer and stripper, accused Apostle Suleman Johnson, through her lawyer Festus Keyamo, of failing to keep a marriage promise made to her after allegedly having several sexual relationships with her.
He is also lawyer to popular Nigerian musical Duo of Psquare and is in the middle of the controversial video that had gone viral, showing the two brothers insulting one another and exchanging blows. Festus Keyamo had since released a disclaimer stating that the leaked video did not emanate from his law office.
Should Atiku Abubakar proceed to court or drop his case against Muhammadu Buhari and INEC?