Festus Keyamo, SAN, the chief spokesman of the Asiwaju Bola Tinubu campaign had definitely proved himself as a lawyer to have earned his silk label. However, his proficiency in mathematics is another thing and it is not surprising, given that excellence in the liberal arts does not translate to similar excellence in mathematics.
Like the lawyer he is, Keyamo in the unfolding issues pertaining to the forfeiture of drug-linked funds by his new principal, Tinubu, is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the majority of Nigerians.
Yes, he may have gotten away with intimidating the Channels anchor, Seun Okinbaloye but the fact is that the issues before us are simple and straight to the point.
Now no one, not even Keyamo doubts the authenticity of the fact that his principal forfeited the sum of $460,000 to the United States Government.
According to Keyamo’s argument, the forfeiture was based on what he claims as unpaid tax that Tinubu should have paid on the $1,216,500 and the $661,000 that his principal supposedly earned from the money market in the period while he was working as a treasurer at Mobil.
Interesting. At that time Tinubu’s monthly income was $2,400 per month amounting to $28,800 per annum. Now in an American society which is known for its liberal credit system where workers are encouraged to live on credit, Keyamo would want us to believe that Tinubu did not spend a dime from his salary and rather was investing everything in the money market!!!
Now, the summary of the financial deals surrounding Tinubu is that while he worked at Mobil between 1988 and 1991 that he opened some bank accounts.
These records also show that he deposited $661,000 and $1,216,500 in a First Heritage Bank money market account at two separate times first in 1990 and then again in 1991.
These deposits were from someone with a monthly take home of $2,400. Keyamo failed to explain to his audience how Tinubu was able to come up with these sums while on a full-time job. Even if he were into some moonlighting as Americans call side jobs, which was very unlikely, what did he do?
First, we need to be told how he was able to deposit the huge amounts into the money market account at First Heritage. Where did he get the money?
Tinubu needs to come out and explain himself because obviously Keyamo has not been able to make a good defence for him. We need the Asiwaju to clear the doubts around the suspicions directed at him.
Keyamo’s explanation that the forfeited $460,000 was actually unpaid tax from the money market does not add up in the light of the prevailing market rates at that time.
Indeed, based on the single digit market rate prevailing at that time in the late eighties and early nineties, Tinubu could even if he genuinely earned the money he deposited could not have made more than $121,650 and $66,100 (say a generous rate of 10%) on the deposits at First Heritage.
So, it really does not add up. This is simple mathematics. Asiwaju does not need anyone to explain this, he should come out personally and say this is how and how I earned the money that I forfeited to the US Government.
Even if Keyamo may not have the mathematical proficiency to project how Tinubu earned the forfeited money, I give it to him that he surely knows that Tinubu for now cannot be prosecuted again after the end of the forfeiture case given the seven year statute of limitation for such cases.
Keyamo, the learned silk knows this and hence his bravado, but the burden of proof to delink his principal from the weight of suspicion is what he has not been able to and may never be to clear without Tinubu by his side!