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PHOTOS: Lagos Seals Off Suspected Badoo Kingpin, Alaka’s Filling Station, Hotel, Event Centre

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…Vows To Stamp Out Group’s Activities

The Lagos State Government on Wednesday sealed off a Petrol Filling Station, an Hotel and Event Centre belonging to a suspected Badoo cult kingpin, Alhaji Alaka Abayomi Kamal.

The structures, situated along Ijebu-Ode-Itoikin Road in Sabo area of Ikorodu were sealed for violating the State’s Urban and Regional Planning Law of 2010.

The Police, had on December 22, 2017, declared Alaka wanted in connection with series of well-orchestrated killings and nefarious activities of the Badoo cult group in Ikorodu and Epe area of the State.

Alaka is believed to be the ring leader of the Badoo menace.

The State Government, in a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Steve Ayorinde, said the order sealing off the structures was in pursuant to Section 60 of the said Law.

It would be recalled that the State’s Commissioner of Police, Mr Imohimi Edgal, on Tuesday, paraded a Badoo kingpin arrested in Ikorodu axis who confessed to the killings and took Police to their shrine in Imosan, a suburb of Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State where the group’s chief herbalist, Fatai Adebayo was arrested.

Adebayo, who is popularly known as Alese, was said to specialize in administering oath on Badoo members before they go for any operation.

According to Ayorinde, “The Lagos State Government is joining the Nigerian Police in asking the said Alaka to come out of hiding and submit himself to the law in his own interest.

“The State Government has also enjoined the Police to offer the public a reward for any useful information on the owner of the Alaka Filling Station, Hotel and Event Centre in Ikorodu.

“The government is once again asking its citizens to go about their businesses without fear. We will leave no stone unturned in keeping the State safe in 2018,” Ayorinde assured.

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My life as a herdsman, by Buhari

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“…the nomad life exposes you to nature. You will never learn enough about plants, trees, insects and animals’

 

 

Apparently recalling his early life as a herdsman, President Muhammadu Buhari has said his rearing of cattle contributed immensely to shaping him into what he is today as a former military Head of State and the incumbent president of Nigeria, attributing these landmark achievements to the Fulani training of perseverance which he imbibed along the line.

President Buhari won the 2015 presidential election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) after he attempted it four times before defeating former President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Speaking in an interview initially published by The Sun Newspaper in 2012 but reproduced by Saturday Telegraph, President Buhari acknowledged that his life as a herdsman was made possible due to the Fulani training of perseverance which toughened and made him a realist. President Buhari in the interview also talked about his relationship with former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Military President Ibrahim Babangida respectively, whom he said, he had some unpalatable experi-ences with in his emergence as head of state.

In the case of Obasanjo, Buhari said he still remembers with nostalgic intuition what the former president did to him by mobilising the electorate against him while Babangida’s case was masterminding the coup that ousted his military regime in 1983.

Sounding modest in his assessment of his growing up days as a herdsman, Buhari said: “Clearly, I could recall I reared cattle. We had cattle; we had sheep and then, there was good neighbourhood. Not many children had the opportunity to go to school, but I went to school.

“Those who are brought up in the city have limited space. If you are in a confined school, you learn from the school and what you see immediately. But the nomad life exposes you to nature. You will never learn enough about plants, trees, insects and animals.

Every day, you are learning something. You have seen them and every day you are learning. You will never know all of them. So, it is so vast that it takes a lot of whatever you can think of.

And then again, the difference in the environment. In the Savannah, in the Sahel, after harvest, you can always see as high as your eyes can go. And then, at night when there is moon, it is fantastic. So, I enjoyed those days and they made a lasting impression on me.

“I left home at the age of 10 or 11 and went to school, like I said. And I was in the boarding school for nine years. In primary school and secondary school, I was in the boarding house and from there, I went straight into the Army.” Recalling what could have spurred him further as a respected herdsman in his country home in Daura, Katsina State, the President said: “Because when you have reared cattle, for those who have been doing it, they said it toughens you…”

On what could have led to his perceived rift with Obasanjo, Buhari tacitly said: “Obasanjo mobilised Nigerian voters against me,” apparently referring to the various times he contested the Presidential elections and lost before he eventually won the 2015 election. Pressed further if he actually had forgiven the former president, he said: “No, I haven’t forgiven him (laughter).” For Babangida, Buhari said his feud with the former military president was hinged on the fact that he staged a coup that ousted his regime in 1983, which according to him, got him infuriated.

He said: “Of course, I was angry because I can’t recall what I had done for him to mobilise the military to overthrow me and detain me for more than three years. Yeah, it is natural for me to be upset.”

Though he later acknowledged that he had forgiven Babangida publicly, he, however, said: “I think the worst thing anybody can do to oneself is to have either hatred or grudge on a daily basis. One thing will happen and you better forget.

I did. Publicly, I did.” He added: “I have and some of your papers published it. I said as a Muslim, I have forgiven him. I have forgiven him. I said it and it was printed by some of your colleagues. But I didn’t say it will be forgotten. It cannot be forgotten. If I say I forget about it, I will be lying. But I have forgiven him, just as I expect Shagari to forgive me as the one who succeeded him.”

Asked if joining the military was the best thing that ever happened to him, he said: “I think so, because from primary to secondary school and in the military, it continued, both the academic and the physical one. I think it was so tough, but then, once it was inbuilt, it had to be sustained because you don’t contemplate failure.”

On why he choose the infantry and not the other arms, President Buhari said: “I found the infantry much more challenging and when we were doing the training, the Federal Government decided that we were going to have the Air Force.

So, I was invited. A team came from the Ministry of Defence to interview cadets that wanted to be fighter pilots in the Air Force. “I was the first to be called in our group. I appeared before them and they told me that those who could pass the interview would be recommended to go to the Air Force training in the UK.Some also went to Ethiopia or United States or Germany. So, they asked me whether I wanted to be a fighter pilot and I said no.

They asked why, and I said I wasn’t interested. “We were given three choices. Number one, maybe you went to infantry; number two, you went to reconnaissance before they became armour and later, maybe artillery. So, all my three choices, I could recall vividly, I put infantry, infantry.

So, they said why? I said because I liked infantry. And they asked if I wouldn’t like to be a fighter pilot. I said no, I didn’t want to join them. They said why. I said I hadn’t done Physics. “Normally, I did some mathematics but to be a fighter pilot, you must do some physics.

They said no, that it was no problem, that I could have an additional one academic year. So, since I had some mathematics background, it was just one year purely to do physics and I would reach the grade required to be a pilot. I said no, I didn’t want it. They again asked why.

I told them I chose infantry. The reason is: when I am fighting and I was shot at, if I was not hit, I can go down, turn back and take off by foot. They laughed and sent me out. So, I remained infantry officer.”

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Yobe schoolgirls’ case receiving attention –Buhari

●I never believed any govt could be careless with girls again, says Ezekwesili
●United States condemns latest kidnap case

 

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said the case of students abducted from the Government Girls Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State is receiving the deserved and that no effort would be spared to bring succour to them. This is coming as an avalanche of mixed reactions yesterday trailed last Monday’s attack and abduction of 94 girls of the Government Girls Science and Technical Secondary School, Dapchi, Yobe State by Boko Haram sects.

Hours after it released a statement that some of the girls had been freed, the Yobe State Government recanted on Thursday and said none has been rescued. The actual number of missing girls is also yet to be ascertained. While the police said 30 were missing as at Wednesday evening, the state government said over 50 were missing.

On Thursday, the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the government was yet to ascertain the actual number of missing girls. But yesterday’s reaction saw a Co-Convener of the Bring Back Our Girls Group, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, saying it was unthinkable for such a thing to happen, while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the claim by the Federal Government that the Boko Haram insurgents have been defeated was responsible for Dapchi schoolgirls’ abduction.

On its part, the United States strongly condemned the abduction, stating that: “The choice of targets including schools, markets and places of worship reflect the brutality of terror organisations.” Dapchi, a town 101km from Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, is one of the oldest communities in Yobe State.

Dapchi girls’ kidnap devastating, says Buhari

A statement issued yesterday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity), Mallam Garba Sheu, said the President described the news of the attack as, “devastating.”

The statement reads: “When I received the devastating news of the attack on the school and the fact that the local authorities could not account for all the students, I immediately dispatched a high-level delegation on a fact-finding visit to the town. I also instructed the security agencies to deploy in full and not spare any effort to ensure that all the girls are returned safely, and the attackers arrested and made to face justice.

“The entire country stands as one with the girls’ fami-lies, the government and the people of Yobe State. This is a national disaster. We are sorry that this could have happened and share your pain. We pray that our gallant armed forces will locate and safely return your missing family members. “Our government is sending more troops and surveillance aircraft to keep an eye on all movements in the entire territory on a 24-hour basis, in the hope that all the missing girls will be found.”

Ezekwesili: This is sheer absurdity

Reacting to the abduction, Ezekwesili, who was a former Minister of Education, said she never believed that there could be a repeat of the 2014 Chibok girls abduction in the country until last Monday’s incident. Speaking yesterday at this year’s Pastors’ and Leaders’ Conference organised by the Fountain of Life Church, Ilupeju, Lagos, she said she was broken at the news of the abduction of the girls, stating that she nearly gave up on Nigeria.

She said: “When I stood for Chibok girls in 2014, it was to make a statement that never in our nation should any child be ignored when they are in danger. We cannot have a society that ignored its poor.

“From the April 15, 2014, I have not stopped screaming at the governments that they must rescue these girls because I could imagine what could happen to a girl-child in the nest of killers. “We promised and made a commitment on the 30th of April 2014 and said we will not stop our sit-out until all the girls return.

How could I have known that it will take this long? I thought that if we stood demanding the return of the girls and the nations of the world joined with our government, the girls will be back in record time. It didn’t happen, it will be four years in April but I have to keep my promise. In keeping that promise, I don’t want to tell you what it has meant in my life.”

The co-founder of Transparency International, who was almost in tears said, “But I was broken on Wednesday (sobs)…when exactly the same thing has happened again. Girls were taken from their school in Yobe, the military comes out like they came out in 2014 and said they have all being rescued and I celebrated just as I celebrated when they said they have rescued all the Chibok girls. Only for it to be false because parents of Yobe school girls started screaming that they haven’t seen any child that military said they rescued.

“I was broken and I decided that I have little hope left concerning Nigeria. If we what we gave our lives to for four years could repeat in exactly the same pattern. I thought all the people who said I was wasting my time for all those girls were right after all. “I never thought another set of girls in this same country would go through what Chiboks girls are going through. I never thought any government would be careless again with the children of Nigeria with the way it has happened again. I never thought that parents would wake up and be told one thing only for it to be another thing, But the Lord spoke to me not to give up,” she said.

PDP blames FG

PDP said in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, that Muhammadu Buhari’s presidency has put Nigerians at risk by issuing false performance indices suggesting that insurgents have been completely routed, a situation which made many unsuspecting citizens to dropped their guards in the face of real threats and danger.

The party noted that despite the claim of total victory over the insurgent, the group has been perpetrating several atrocities against citizens, particularly in the northern part of the country. The PDP said: “Without doubt, if the incompetent All Progressives Congress (APC)- led government had not dished out lies to the people in a bid to score cheap political points for its ill-lucked 2019 re-election bid, more precautionary measures would have been adopted by the affected communities to ensure adequate protection.”

US flays kidnap of schoolgirls’

The Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, Ms Heather Nauert, while speaking at a press briefing on Thursday, said even though the U.S. was yet to get all the details about the abduction, the act remained barbaric.

Nauert said: “We are still trying to get all the details about that but we wanted to mention that we condemn in the strongest possible terms the terror attack on a school earlier this week in northeastern Nigeria.

The victims in the attacks were girls who were simply seeking an education.” She said the U.S. extended its condolences to the students and to their families affected by the terror attacks. The U.S. also expressed its concerns that some of the students are still not accounted for.

“We continue to support Nigeria’s efforts to counter the terror group. We also support Nigeria’s efforts to enable more than two million displaced in the Lake Chad region to return home safely.

“United States continues to provide humanitarian assistance to those who were affected by the violence,” she said. Ortom identifies with Yobe govt Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom yesterday identifies with the government and people of Yobe State over the missing schoolgirls of Government Girls Technical College, Dapchi.

The governor expressed optimism that the remaining schoolgirls will soon be found and reunited with their families. Ortom, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Terver Akase, yesterday described the incident as traumatic especially for parents and relations of the schoolgirls, urging security agencies to ensure that the rest of the girls are rescued from the hands of their abductors.

How Boko Haram attack, kidnap of Dapchi schoolgirls occurred –Residents, School staff Residents of Dapchi, the Yobe community attacked on Monday, said the Boko Haram gunmen that invaded their community had no other mission than to abduct the female students of Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi.

The grieving parents, relatives and residents of Dapchi, a dusty agrarian community, informed an online news portal, PREMIUM TIMES that the gunmen that invaded their community were strangers who had to force some of the residents to show them way around the town.

“They were total strangers to the town. They did not even know where the school GGSS is located even though it is just by the road on the way to Gashua. And when they eventually located the school they moved in, captured many of our daughters and left without any one confronting them,” said Muhammed in tears.

The Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, was already in the town ahead of the visiting Federal Government delegation. It was also his first visit to Dapchi since that attack occurred. Then, he was away from the state on an official function in Abuja, according to his spokesman, Abdullahi Bego.

The presence of the governor in the attacked town gave residents hope that they would soon be reunited with the rescued schoolgirls whom the state government had the previous night announced had been rescued by soldiers PREMIUM TIMES spoke with many of the residents who confirmed that they saw the Boko Haram gunmen taking the missing girls away in their trucks. Abdullahi Jimuna, a young man who identified himself as a trader, said many of them are yet to overcome the shock of witnessing such invasion, which was the first ever in the community.

“On Monday at about 6.30 p.m., we were about to perform the evening prayer, then we saw about eight Hilux vans and a Tata truck coming into the town the other direction”, said Mr. Jimuna, a lanky fair-skinned man. “When they arrived the town the vehicles separated in two groups, taking different directions.

Then suddenly they began to shoot sporadically. After a while, as everyone was fleeing, then we began to hear the schoolgirls were screaming, we saw some of them scaling the fence and taking to the bush. Then we saw some of them being conveyed in a truck and being taken away.”

Clear mission to abduct schoolgirls

Usman Na-Katarko, a farmer, told PREMIUM TIMES that he was very sure that the schoolgirls were the primary target of the Boko Haram gunmen whom he said were total strangers to the town. “It was about prayer time, and we were in the mosque when we began to hear sounds of vehicles moving at unusual speed around the streets,” he said. “Then we saw some of them driving towards where the security people are stationed.

Then we began to hear shootings. From my experience as an internally displaced person from Katarko, I knew that such kind of shooting was not a friendly one. So I told people that this is not good we have to take to safety.

“I told them that these people in military uniform are not soldiers, because on their Hilux vans are inscriptions in Arabic. “So I had to flee out of the mosque. As I was running towards my house to see if my family had also ran out, I saw a large number of Boko Haram gunmen (marching on) a village head of a nearby community called Dana, asking him to take them to a school; I had to dock and I heard them cursing him and shouting at him that “show us where the school is, show us where the girls school is.”

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FESTUS KEYAMO: My poor parents flew like king, queen to witness my SAN award

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Social commentator, human rights activist and famous lawyer, Festus Keyamo (SAN), in this no-holds-barred interview with LANRE ODUKOYA spoke about the journey to becoming a SAN, why he stuck to the guns against his kinsman, former President Goodluck Jonathan, to birth a new government, and virtues that molded him into greatness.

 

 

The awarding of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) seemed to arrive not at a time you expected and we noticed you went to the UK to become a Fellow of International Arbitration while waiting to be pronounced a SAN. Were you so dampened that you had to seek more honour abroad?

Well, I’d say yes and no. At a time I decided go to the UK to get my fellowship, I’d always wanted to do it. So, I wanted to be a Fellow of International Arbitration and it’s very much related to law and it gives you more international scope.

On a lighter note, that means when practice is dull here in Nigeria, I can go elsewhere and make a few bucks to buy garri for my family. I decided long ago that I was going to be a Fellow of International Arbitration in the UK, there’s also a Nigerian version of it but I decided that I wanted mine in the UK. But at a point when my SAN(ship) was a bit delayed, I saw it as an opportunity to make progress in that area.

At some point in life, you just want to make progress; you don’t want to be where you are. And the practice was at a point getting too monotonous and I wanted to just add a few feathers to my cap.

So, that was the decision I took at that time. Maybe the fact that they delayed the SAN(ship) made me quickly go and do it. But I’d have done it eventually whether I become a SAN early or not. Luckily enough, both of them came almost a year apart and at the end of the day it was double blessings for me.

Did you feel any sense of disappointment when you were finally pronounced a SAN given that you’d waited for it so long?

Did you receive it with the same enthusiasm you would have shown it if it had come six or five years earlier? I just took it as God’s appointed time. You won’t believe me, I wasn’t sad, too happy or frustrated. I just told myself this is God’s appointed time and I took it in my stride.

At a point you may want to reflect and say, look, why didn’t it come on time? But then you’d look at other situations where there are people who are also extremely capable and qualified to get it but have still not got it.

So, it’s a matter of counting one’s blessings. Don’t be angry, don’t be sad, don’t be too happy, just accept it that it’s God’s appointed time and just move on with it. Accept it that you would not be the first, you would not be the last and accept it that God just said this is your year and take it.

Did the delay cost you anything valuable?

I don’t think it cost me anything but in any case you would never know what it would have brought you whether it was blessing in disguise or whether it was a drawback because we’re not clairvoyant and we’re not also God. If I’d gotten it earlier, would I have got into trouble? If I’d got it earlier, would I have been bigger than I am? You would never know. Look, if you know how my mind works, you won’t even try to delve into this area of whether I’m happy or I feel frustrated. I am somebody who counts his blessings.

The first blessing I count is that I’m alive. Today, I reflect back and know of my schoolmates who died in primary school, I know those who died in secondary school, I know a classmate of mine who died a week before we wrote our final examination in Ekpoma. I remember him vividly and I also remember my friends who we graduated together; some have made it big in various areas and others have come short in certain areas- it’s like mixed fate for all of us because some of them have passed on too since we graduated.

So, when you reflect on all of this, you’d just say, ‘what right do I have to complain?’ Everyone’s got his own appointed time and just accept it that there wouldn’t have been anything different if it comes before or after.

There’s no parameter to employ to calculate what you should have done because God didn’t just have you in that schedule. He may not have you in His schedule in 2014, 2015, 2016 but your name appears in God’s schedule in 2017.

It’s just that. During the reign of former President Goodluck Jonathan, your name was all over the newspapers for things you felt the government was not doing right, but less if not nothing has been heard from you yet about where the current government is erring. So many would think is it because of the board appointment you got with the

NDIC or because you’re a lawyer with the EFCC?

I have no such of engagement with the government of the day. No kind of engagement at all. Even the names that were announced recently came to me as a surprise. I sat in my house, practicing my law, I didn’t lobby for anything and I don’t have any sense of entitlement at all. So, even as I speak with you, they just announced it we’ve not got letters and nothing has taken off. So, I’m just who I am.

Let me also be a bit presumptuous, I’m very comfortable because that’s the natural response to this kind of question. I’ve reached the height of my profession and I don’t need patronage from the government to survive.

What I have in my profession is pension for life. I said pension for life because it guarantees that I practice and earn money till the day I drop dead. That is what I have in my profession. It’s not an appointment that I must retire from at 65 or 75.

The older you get the better it is for you especially if you’re a very active and practicing lawyer, let alone when you’re a senior advocate. So, really, I will be most stupid to be sycophantic to anybody. Whatever I do is for the best of my country propelled by my sense of history, my sense of balance, what we have and what we may get if we turn the other way and perhaps, maybe because of some insiders knowledge as to what’s going on in this country.

This is because most of the things you see on social media are completely different from the realities on the ground and I’m sure you know that even as a journalist. You know the news behind the news. Unfortunately, the masses of our country; most of the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram activists don’t know the news behind the news.

They see things from the surface and comment. Some of us are c l o s e to you people and we have the privilege to know the news behind the news most times. Having said that, it will be wrong for anyone to think that because I prosecute for the EFCC, I refuse to comment on the wrongs of this government. How long do you think I’ve been prosecuting for the EFCC? Of course you know it’s been long.

It was in the height of my prosecution for the EFCC under former President Jonathan that I opposed him. So, if you want to look for somebody with courage, that was the height of courage. When I knew he could win again? For me it wasn’t for the perks of my practice, as far as I’m concerned I’m just assisting that body because I would earn more money if I don’t prosecute for the EFCC. That’s because I would defend those accused of corruption and I would have more money to pay lawyers.

At times with apologies, I say this without intent to offend the antigraft agency as hard working as they areat times we go on for four years without receiving one kobo from them. We merely do these things out of passion.

The stipend they give to encourage us once in a while is just to cover our transport and it’s been a long time now they did that. I don’t have to reveal how many years ago I received a single bank alert from the commission.

It’s passion that drives us. I was discussing with one of the key prosecutors yesterday and he mentioned the same thing, a senior advocate like me. Bringing our status, experience and everything to help a vital part of government which is the anti-corruption crusade is something we should be commended for.

And so, don’t forget too that Jonathan is my kinsman from the South-south, he was pitched against a northerner who I had absolutely no relationship with, Gen. Buhari, at that time. Everybody around Jonathan is my friend or classmate, so I could easily have walked into that government and picked anything I wanted.

Let me even mention names to you; Gov. Dickson of Bayelsa State is my classmate, he was one of t h e closest to Jonathan. Dickson and I are very close, he’s even my ‘call-mate’. One who is not even close to Jonathan, Dogara, the speaker was also my classmate and ‘call-mate’, of course, you know Asari Dokubo is my brother and my friend. I brought him out of prison and you know how close he was to Jonathan. You know Kingsley Kuku and how close he was to Jonathan.

These are all my childhood friends, peers, brothers from the Southsouth who I have all the affiliation to. Everybody around Jonathan was my people. Even before Oronto Douglas passed on, we came from the same Human Rights circle. I knew nobody around Gen. Buhari, not one person.

But I did what was the best for my country because I saw what was going. I told myself and my conscience that this was wrong. I didn’t want the Dasuki money; I knew that money was going around then for people to campaign for them. In Buhari’s case we were spending our own money.

Do you sell your conscience to someone who is not giving you money or someone who gives you money? For 16 years, you saw how we complained about the PDP and their ways- many of us were loud about it. Then immediately after we were able to pull off that revolution in 2015, then some of us who were leaders of that cause will turn around and in two years and switch sides to the same people we fought? No way! What we can do is constructive criticism which we have done and not to call for change from what we established. It’s too early to call for change. I’m not ashamed and I’m confident to say that we cannot in two and half years call for the change of what we fought for many years to achieve.

From your constituency, the justice system, the appointment of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has been received with much criticism and he has not scored well from his outings to earn people’s confidence.

How does this make you feel? There are people in the present team who have done well and there are those who haven’t done well. That doesn’t generally bring down the entire government. It means that you need to change some members of your team like some parts of your vehicle. Even though the vehicle is moving, there is perhaps a reason for change of some parts in order for the vehicle to perform better.

Now, while this may be the perception of some people, some people might argue that he has done well too. I’ve had cause to criticise him openly too especially on the ‘Mainagate’. He’s my close friend and my brother but when it comes to the governance of this country some of us must speak out. And I spoke out and said, look, in certain areas you got it wrong my brother. You shouldn’t have been anxious enough to recall Maina.

There are other areas he might have done well too, people have where they misstep. We’ve heard of AGFs who were involved in other ‘gates’. Some of them are on the run now, they’ve declared them wanted.

You have fought many battles and come out either unscathed or with not so known scars. Which would you consider the most difficult?

It may not even be the ones that attract public attention and you won’t believe it. The ones that attract public attention are even the simplest. Some of the cases of very private persons that gave us sleepless nights and we fight those battles so much and pull through, we really heave a big sigh of relief here in this office. Because of clients’ confidentiality I may not go through the details of some of these cases.

Not so much has changed in your look in years despite the workload and mental stress, what’s the secret of your good look?

It’s hunger. Try and be hungry and you won’t grow pot-belly. On a serious note, it’s discipline. I rest a lot. I don’t do night parties, I don’t club. Those have never been my lifestyle. I was brought up as a very disciplined young man. I was brought up as a Jehovah’s Witness preaching from house to house and we had to go to bed early.

I was raised in a very disciplined environment and that discipline is still in me till now. Even in my late 40s, if I’m outside and it gets too late, I’d rush back home to my bed without anyone flogging me to do it. When I left my father’s house and went to the university, it was what propelled me. I sleep well, nothing disturbs my mind. Let the world be shouting Keyamo, I would just switch off my light and off I go in my sleep.

You’ve shared inspiring stories of your rise from bottom to the top. What presently excites you after you’ve conquered the war against poverty?

When I see young men today who want their apparels to make them, they want to shine in what they wear and the kind of cars they drive at the beginning of their lives, I just pity them. It’s a wrong way to start life, build your person, your character, passion for what you like first and every other thing will fall in place. Don’t put the cart before the horse- sadly, this is what we find happening around today. I didn’t drive a car six years after I was called to the bar.

I drove my old Mercedes Benz car which they called ‘Smoking Joe’ about seven years after. I bought it third hand. That was part of the setting with which I started life. My father and my mother had never attended any of my ceremonies in my life until my conferment as SAN when I had to fly them like a king and queen to Abuja to attend.

They didn’t attend my matriculation because they weren’t buoyant enough to come, they were not buoyant enough to attend my convocation and they couldn’t attend my call to bar ceremony because there was no money. I’m proud to say all this now because at the end of the day, the story is sweet. I don’t look back with regret.

My conferment was the first event they attended- guess what, that is even the sweetest one for them to attend. Of what benefit would it have been for them to attend my matriculation and I don’t graduate? Of what benefit will it be for them to attend my matriculation and spend so much money and I can’t be called to the bar?

Of what benefit would it have been for them to attend my call to bar and make so much noise and cook all kinds of rice and I make nothing out of my career? No benefits. The real icing on the cake was what they came for and God designed it that way. That was why I flew them like king and queen and I was proud to do that.

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