On the 25th of March, 2019, virtually all the print and electronic media in Nigeria were awash with a petition against the PDP, directed to the IG of Police and the DG of Department of State Security (Dss). The petition was authored by Festus Keyamo (SAN), director of strategic communications of APC Presidential Campaign Council For The 2019 Presidential Election. In that petition, Keyamo had urged the IG of Police and the DG of Dss, to investigate, arrest and prosecute the PDP leadership for allegedly hacking into INEC's SERVER and putting into same, a fake Presidential Election Result. The said result portrayed the PDP as having won the 2019 Presidential Election, with an outstandingly high margin of 1.6 million votes over and above what APC garnered in that election.
This writer was amazed at the display of obvious alarm, electrifying anxiety and feverishness, underlining Keyamo's penned down rants and rambles, as contained in the purported petition.
I am aware that this is the first time this politically- pubescent lawyer, by a quirk of fate, is occupying an appreciably high partisan political office, that made him to loom largely in the Nigerian political firmament.
Unarguably, Festus Keyamo is a "learned silk" (as we say it in the legal profession in Nigeria). He adorns the very coveted rank of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria( SAN). This status, is indubitably, a highly reckoned position of distinction in legal practice in Nigeria.
"Virtuiti officii," ie, by virtue of his office as a SAN, the public expects to liverage on Keyamo's presumed versatility in law , in significantly contributing to the expansion of the scope of social relevance of the law, through his industry, courage, doggedness and profundity of legal exposure. However, in an unpredicted twist, Keyamo circumscribed this elevated standing in the legal profession and " in the eyes of the public," choosing to play to the gallery, in that Rhapsody of gibberishness and perfidy, constituting his said petition.
It's particularly worrisome and legally irksome that, using very uncouth, acerbic and caustic words, Keyamo chose to write the said petition, just immediately after Atiku Abubakar, the PDP flag bearer in the 2019 Presidential Election, had filed his Election petition at the 2019 Presidential Election petition Tribunal, which said Tribunal immediately thereafter, became seised of same.
From Keyamo's personal assertion in his petition, he had alleged that PDP prepared a fake 2019 Presidential Election Result (showcasing the party as having won in that election). He also claimed that PDP floated the purported " fake result in the cyber space less than 24 hours after the initial date of 16th Feb, 2019, presidential election was postponed to 23rd feb 2019."
Keyamo never deemed it fit to exhibit the legal wisdom of raising his petition timely, especially soon after he discovered the so- called " PDP fake Presidential result" in circulation.
In his ludicrous attempt to criminalize Atiku and the PDP leadership in the ill- conceived petition, Keyamo with a frenzied gusto, made "heavy weather " about how "some criminally- minded PDP operatives have access to the INEC server to be able to smuggle in fake results into that server." Keyamo further contended in that petition of 25th March, 2019, that the leadership or operatives of PDP could have done the said "criminal hacking with the criminal conspiracy of some INEC officials."
Keyamo's petition in its disgusting vacuity, could not even supply a scintilla of evidence on a myriad of questions begging for answers, including such isues/questions as to-- who were the PDP leaders or operatives that hacked into the INEC server ?; who were the INEC conspirators?; how was the alleged hacking done?; when did the purported hacking take place?; whether Keyamo, for the purposes of the said petition or otherwise, is acting as spokes person, counsel or Agent of INEC? etc.
The said APC campaign spokesman's petition which was full of fuzzy facts and unconnected kegal points, seriously touched on contentious issues already pending before the presidential election Tribunal. This made Keyamo's petition to be gravely subjudicial, regarding the pending matters before the Tribunal. Examples of few fundamental issues waiting for a considered decision at the said Tribunal, which Keyamo had canvassed in his petition include- the legality/ authenticity of the votes obtained by the PDP in that presidential election, vis- a- vis the votes bandied by APC at the tribunal; the legal status of INEC's Server; whether the PDP or APC won the said election?; whether there was a faking of the 2019 Presidential Election Result by the PDP?, etc.
Keyamo's brazen prejudicial conduct in his petition under discourse, further exposes his height of legal rascality and professional impertinence.
The INEC server itself, is an electronic device for storing and processing INEC's information, including collated votes and other data used in INEC- conducted elections in Nigeria. It's instructive to note that the INEC server is also used to upload election results on INEC website, etc.
By virtue of sections 102 and 258 of the Nigerian Evidence Act 2011, election results and other data churned out by the server are public electronically- induced documents which are admissible in evidence.
Keyamo needs to be reminded that there's a Freedom of Information Act, which gives every Nigerian citizen the unfettered right to access any document, material or envisaged piece of evidence under the custody of any ministry, Government department, Agency or parastatal in Nigeria.
In his infantile and boorish petition, Keyamo lost touch of the long- established legal principle , to the effect that a piece of evidence, no matter how legally or illegally obtained, remains admissible, so long as same is relevant to the subject matter in Court, and provided that there's nothing legally inhibiting its admissibility, after laying the necessary foundation. Infact, the governing issue is that, once a piece of evidence is relevant, no matter how it was obtained, it's admissible in law. See the old judicial decision in Musa Sadau Vs the State(1968) NMLR at 208. The Supreme Court expressed similar view in Ogbe Vs Asade (2009) 40 NSCQR at 386.
Under section 84 (2)( a)--( d) of the Evidence Act (supra), for documents emanating from electronically- induced objects like the INEC server, after laying the necessary foundation as required in the immediately- cited provisions of the said Evidence Act, such documents/materials become admissible in any legal proceedings before the Court or Tribunal.
In the premises, it may not be far- fetched to posit that, from the recent outings of Keyamo in this petition and elsewhere, this senior lawyer has almost reached his nadir, both in his knowledge of the law and in his psycho- social and political perception of issues.
It's widely believed that the present situation of this emergent APC strong man, is not unconnected with the fact that he allowed himself( in a rushed bid to feed fat from APC's " spoils of poltical office"), to become completely enmeshed and drenched in the purulent and rancid waters of APC's politics of deceit, manipulation, lies, complete cluelessness, desperation, despoliation, despicable malevolence and soaring terrorism of making use of "State apparati" of coercion , to force itself on the defenceless Nigerian people.
It's important to make it pointedly and incisively clear to Keyamo, his APC trumpeters and hallelujah orchestra, that PDP would lose no sleep over his puny and baseless petition. From all indications, it's obvious that PDP is quite ready, able and willing to pursue it's election petition to the logical conclusion.
Let it be known to Keyamo and APC, that he (Keyamo), who is the most recently
recruited APC's "exhibitionist Rottweiler," cannot succeed to hunt, hound, intimidate, harass, blackmail and or cow the PDP into submission of abandoning the party's well founded Presidential Election petition, or PDP's avowed commitment to liberate Nigerians through the instrumentality of the law, from the shackles of the current APC's Electoral malfeasances and gross misrule of the Country for nearly 4 odd years