Group Asks EFCC To Arrest Minister Of State For Labour, Keyamo

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Worried that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) under the leadership of the Northerner – Alhaji Abdulrasheed Bawa, wants to clamp down on mostly Igbo and Southern private estate developers, a prominent Rights group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has cautioned the anti-graft Commission’s Czar to stop the witch hunt.

Instead of going after genuine private estate developers because of some anti-Igbo, anti-Southern Nigerian agenda, EFCC has been admonished to focus on public functionaries such as the minister of state for labour Festus Kayamo who has admitted making purchases of multi-billion Naira worth of Exotic and expensive housing assets offshores including the mansion in the United States of America at this same time that he is a cabinet level public officer.

HURIWA said the EFCC should be even arresting many rogue ministers some of whom have frittered public fund just as the Rights group stated that the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and disaster management should also constitute a strong focal point for EFCC if the anti-corruption body is patriotically committed to eradicating corruption and abuse of office and must avoid such distractions and shadow chasing gambit of waging Economic stagnating warfare against genuine private estate developers who are largely from Southern Nigeria.

HURIWA wonders why the EFCC has left public officials with allegations of heists of public fund but is rather seeking to destroy the private housing sector in this post Covid -19 era when businesses are folding up.

EFCC should stop acting as government lap dog and for once be decisive, courageous, independent and apolitical by arresting or at least inviting the minister of state of labour Festus Kayamo who on his own volition, boasted that he actually purchase several assets even as a serving minister.

“Keyamo’s cock and bull story of how he ammased unpardonable and humongous amount of offshore assets from proceeds of his law firm before assuming public office as a Minister is a redherring because it is a notorious information that Keyamo was just a garrulous and noisy lawyer who ironically became media savvy after he worked under the successful Chief Gani Fawehinmi(SAN) legal offices but is not truly a very proficient lawyer to have attracted such humongous amount to an extent that they (huge cash’ ‘were lying idle in his accounts’ so much so that he had to buy mansions from such proceeds even as a public office holder. The conspiratorial silence of Abdulrasheed Bawa is unpardonable and abominable.”

HURIWA also asked the EFCC to take closer look at the SPECIAL REPORTS which a popular online medium NewsBand alleged that has shown that the All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign council spokesman and Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, bought multiple houses in the United States of America just a couple of months after the controversial 774,000 jobs project that cost the Federal Government a whopping forty billion Naira.

Besides, HURIWA  observed that News Band had recently reported that Keyamo allegedly purchased a property in Texas, the United States, worth over $359,000.

The report revealed that Keyamo acquired the property at 5509 Silver Canyon LN TX 77583 in Savannah Trace, with no traceable income to justify the purchase.

In another publication, this medium aforementioned  also reported that Keyamo owns allegedly another house worth over a billion Naira.

Recall that a self acclaimed  whistleblower claimed that the APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) Spokesman owns the house worth over one billion Naira situated in Ikoyi, Lagos.

According to the whistleblower, who is also an investigative journalist, the “Secret house” is located at No. 8, Mekunwen Street, off Queens Drive, Ikoyi, Lagos.

He further claimed that Keyamo bought the land in 2019 for almost one billion naira and demolished it to build the structure.

He even challenged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ‘go and verify the claim’.

Reacting to the allegation involving the first house, HURIWA quoted Keyamo as making a counterclaim in a tweet that he posted a video of the house to deride “the horde of sore losers at the last elections”.

According toher.Keyamo, he closed his foreign accounts and repatriated the funds to the country, being savings he made as a private legal practitioner and a property investor over decades.

He also claimed that he wrote to relevant agencies and informed them of the movement of those funds out of the country to purchase a property as a better investment decision, all these done whilst he is in public office as a Minister.”

He said: “Two days ago, I decided to bait the horde of sore losers at the last elections with a video of my vacation in ONE OF MY PROPERTIES abroad as I did a light workout.

“By letters dated March 6, 2019 (long before I was appointed a Minister and immediately I was appointed a Board member of the NDIC), and in line with our Constitution, I wrote to the relevant government agencies, informing them of the closure of my foreign account(s) and the repatriation of my funds to the country, being some savings I had made as a private legal practitioner and a property investor over decades.

“The numbers of those accounts, both abroad and in Nigeria were clearly stated in those letters. Those foreign funds were lying in my accounts until my appointment as a Minister later in 2019 and formed part of my assets declaration.

“In 2021, I again wrote to the relevant agencies (by letters dated January 22, 2021), informing them of the movement of those funds out of the country to purchase a property as a better investment decision, instead of the funds lying idly in the account whilst I am in public office.”

He is yet to respond to the allegation of the one billion Naira Ikoyi house in Lagos.

HURIWA is asking EFCC to look at the allegation that investigation, however, has shed more light on the transaction, indicating that Keyamo bought the houses after news of the controversial forty billion Naira 774,000 jobs project hit the internet.

Recall that the House of Representatives’ Committee on Youths, Labour, Finance and Appropriations, in November 2021, had carried out a probe into the non-implementation of the scheme.

Honourable Gudaji Kazaure called on relevant authorities to investigate the Extended Special Public Works Scheme over its alleged failure.

Responding, Keyamo claimed that the 774,000 jobs were successful and that beneficiaries have been paid 40 billion Naira.

In a statement, Keyamo also said about 90 per cent of the 774,000 participants engaged in the scheme across the nation have been paid.

In the statement signed by the minister’s Senior Adviser on Media and Communications, Tunde Moshood, entitled “Keyamo Replies Reps Committee On Public Works Scheme’s Probe’, he said:

“The Extended Special Public Works programme has been successfully implemented by the National Directorate of Employment under the supervision of the Honourable Minister of State, Labour and Employment.”

He added: “The Extended Special Public Works Programme under the supervision of the Honourable Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN has been implemented successfully with about 90% of the 774,000 ESPW participants engaged by the scheme across the nation successfully paid with over N40 billion so far.”

Shortly after the “successful” Extended Special Public Works programme, Keyamo embarked on buying spree of properties in the United States and Nigeria.

HURIWA said the EFCC must carry out forensic investigations into the special works initiative handled by the Minister of State for Labour Festus Kayamo against the background of multiple accusations that he bought those choice assets same time that the Presidential assignment took place.

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