Festus Keyamo is a well-respected Nigerian lawyer, human rights activist, and columnist, best known for his appointment as the Director of Strategic Communications for President Buhari’s 2019 re-election campaign. Born in Ughelli, Delta State, Nigeria, on January 21, 1970, he pursued his primary education at Model Primary School and secondary education at Government College, Ughelli. Keyamo earned his Bachelor of Law degree in 1992 from Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma, Edo State, and was called to the Nigerian Bar in December 1993.
Keyamo began his illustrious legal career in 1993 at Gani Fawehinmi’s Chambers in Lagos State, before establishing his own firm, Festus Keyamo Chambers, two years later. Over the years, he has provided counsel in several high-profile cases, including the trials of the leaders of the Niger-Delta Peoples’ Volunteer Force and the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra for treasonable felony. Keyamo also served as counsel in the murder case of Bola Ige.
In 2008, he made headlines for taking the Nigerian Federal Government to court over the illegal appointment of service chiefs. Keyamo was also the legal representative for Canadian-based singer and stripper Stephanie Otobo, who accused Apostle Suleman Johnson of failing to honor a marriage promise.
In the political realm, Keyamo was nominated as a minister in President Muhammadu Buhari’s second administration and subsequently screened by the Senate. He was first appointed Minister of State for Niger Delta, before being redeployed to the Ministry of Labour and Employment by President Buhari in August 2019. Following his nomination by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Keyamo was confirmed as Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development on August 16, 2023.
Keyamo’s contributions to the legal profession were recognized when he was awarded the prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) by the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee of Nigeria in July 2017. In the same year, he received the Global Human Rights Award from the United States Global Leadership Council for his tireless efforts to protect and promote human rights and advocate for accountable governance in Nigeria. Furthermore, in 2023, Keyamo was honored with a national award by former Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, along with 338 other recipients.