For boasting of or flaunting his properties in the United States, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN) is now under fire as he has been to publish his assets declaration form submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau in 2019.
The National Assembly has also got a request to publish a report of its investigation on the N52 billion Special Works Programme implemented by Keyamo during COVID-19.
The Special Assistant on Public Communication to ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, Mr Phrank Shaibu, made the demand in a statement obtained by Persecondnews on Sunday while reacting to Keyamo’s acquisition of a house in the United States (U.S.) at the cost of over $300,000.
Persecondnews recalls that in 2021, the Federal Government had in a bid to ameliorate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, approved the sum of N52bn for the hiring of 774,000 Nigerians across all the local government areas in the country for three months.
The 774,000 Nigerians were recruited to do some menial jobs such as clearing of drainages, sweeping of markets, cutting grass and other community services.
Keyamo had masterminded the sacking of the Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Alhaji Nasiru Argungu, insisting that he was in charge of the N52bn project which the National Assembly noted was a flop.
Both the Senate and the House of Representatives had investigated the implementation of the programme, insisting that many of the beneficiaries were not paid, while others who got did not do any job.
Reacting to Keyamo’s claim that he owns several houses in the U.S., Shaibu said: “The National Assembly had described the special works programme as a sham and also questioned how the funds were spent. Keyamo had, for the last two years, defended the shambolic implementation of the programme.
“With his open confession that he has acquired houses in the U.S., I hereby call on the National Assembly to publish its report on the failed project. I also call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to immediately probe the finances of Festus Keyamo, who only became a senior advocate two years before becoming a minister.
“It is public record that Keyamo was an activist and a prosecutor for the EFCC, doing mostly pro bono cases before taking public office.
“However, he now boasts of being a real estate mogul after becoming a minister. This is laughable and an insult to the sensibilities of Nigerians.
“In any case, Keyamo’s time as Minister of State for Labour and Employment witnessed the highest level of unemployment, which KPMG says is about to hit 40%.
“Under Keyamo, universities also witnessed prolonged strikes, as ASUU proceeded on a 10 months strike in 2020 and eight months industrial action in 2021.
“Keyamo clearly failed as a minister but grew wealthier in the process through his so-called real estate business. He thus needs to be investigated with immediate effect.”
A boastful Keyamo said: “My assets declaration is there for all to see. Some of us don’t need government funds or patronage to get by. Whatever we do and whoever we support is out of our deep convictions.”
But Shaibu insisted that since Keyamo had boasted many times about being an EFCC prosecutor and an anti-corruption champion, he ought to be bold enough to make his asset declaration forms public to prove that he was telling the truth.
“Keyamo has one month left in his tenure as minister, which means he will need to declare his assets before the CCB next month. Let him make public his asset declaration forms, before and after office, to prove to Nigerians that he did not steal.
“The truth about Keyamo is that he is a hypocrite, a rabble-rouser who pretends to be on the side of the masses but is only after his stomach.
“He started as a disciple of the great Gani Fawehinmi but has since strayed from Gani’s ideals by serving as spokesman for a man who was an anathema to Gani and who Gani had accused of forgery and fraud – Bola Tinubu,” he stated.