Femi Fani Kayode Biography
Femi Fani Kayode is a Nigerian politician, essayist, poet and lawyer. He was born on 16 October 1960 in Lagos, to Chief Victor Babaremilekun Adetokunboh Fani-Kayode and to Chief (Mrs) Adia Adunni Fani-Kayode. His family lineage originates from Osun. He is an Ile-Ife chieftain of Yoruba descent.
Femi Fani Kayode comes from a prominent Nigerian family. His great-grandfather, the Rev. Emmanuel Adedapo Kayode, was one of the earliest Nigerians to be educated in England, receiving an MA from the University of Durham, after which he became an Anglican priest. His grandfather, Victor Adedapo Kayode, studied law at Cambridge University and became a lawyer and a judge. His father Victor Babaremilekun Adetokunboh Fani-Kayode, who was also at Cambridge was a prominent lawyer and political figure in Nigeria in the 1950s and 1960s. He was Leader of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons Opposition in the Western House of Assembly from 1960 to 1963, the Hon. Minister of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Deputy Premier of the Western Region of Nigeria from 1963 until 1966 and he successfully moved the motion for Nigeria’s independence in 1958 in the Nigerian Parliament.
Femi Fani Kayode Education
Femi Fani Kayode started his education at the age of 8 at Brighton College, Brighton in the UK after which he went to Holmewood House School in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, South-East England. He entered Harrow School in Harrow on the Hill, United Kingdom and later into Kelly College in Tavistock, UK, where he completed the rest of his public school education. In 1980 Femi Fani-Kayode went to the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies where he graduated with an LL.B law degree in 1983. He entered Cambridge University (Pembroke College) where his grandfather (Selwyn College), his father (Downing College) and his older brother, Akinola (Downing College) had all previously read law.
After finishing from Cambridge, Femi Fani Kayode went to the Nigerian Law School and in 1985 was called to the Nigerian Bar. In 1993, under the tutelage of Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams of Ghana, Femi Fani-Kayode became a Pentecostal Christian. He decided to go back to school to study theology at the Christian Action Faith Bible Seminary in Accra, Ghana, gaining a diploma in theology in 1995.
Femi Fani Kayode Political Life
Femi Fani Kayode was a member of the Nigerian National Congress (NNC) in 1989. He was elected the national youth leader of NNC that same year. In 1990, he was appointed as Chief Press Secretary to Chief Tom Ikimi, the first national chairman of the National Republican Convention (NRC) and in 1991 as Special Assistant to Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi, former head of the Nigerian Security Organisation (NSO). In 1996, disturbed by the actions of Gen. Sani Abacha’s military junta, Femi Fani-Kayode left Nigeria and joined the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) abroad where, together with the likes of the Oxford University-trained lawyer Chief Tunde Edu and others, he played a very active role in the fight against Abacha.
He came back to Nigeria in 2001 and met President Olusegun Obasanjo. At the beginning of 2003, Femi Fani-Kayode was appointed by the President as a member of his presidential campaign team for the 2003 presidential election. After President Obasanjo won that election Femi Fani-Kayode was appointed as the first ever Special Assistant on Public Affairs to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In 2006 he was appointed as the Honourable Minister of Culture and Tourism. That same year, after a minor cabinet reshuffle, he was redeployed to the Aviation Ministry as the Honourable Minister of Aviation. Since the end of the tenure of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration on 29 May 2007, Femi Fani-Kayode has gone back to the private sector and to his legal practice.
He was a member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He was with the opposition’s All Progressive Congress (APC) until June 2014 when he returned to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.
Investigation and Arrest
Femi Fani Kayode was investigated and arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in July 2008 in connection with the alleged misappropriation of a 19.5 billion naira (approx.US$300,000,000) “Aviation Intervention Fund.” The investigation found no evidence against him. The Senate Committee on Aviation in early 2008, initially recommended that Fani-Kayode be banned from holding public office for five years but withdrew the request when he had not violated any law.
Fani-Kayode was arrested on December 2008 by the EFCC and charged with 47 counts of money laundering. Fani-Kayode stated that he was innocent and that the monies were funds received from his own private businesses and legitimate sources and had nothing to do with government funds. He said that the investigations of the Yar’Adua government and the EFCC were politically motivated, and he was being persecuted in the same way as other colleagues from the Obasanjo government, such as Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai and Nuhu Ribadu, for their ties to President Obasanjo. On 22 October, EFCC operatives of arrested on a 17 count charge of unlawful retention, unlawful use and unlawful payment of money in the tune of about N4.9 billion, a charge brought against them by the anti-graft commission.
He was discharged and acquitted on 1 July by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on the two count charge of money laundering preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. The court held that the EFCC was unable to prove the charges against Fani-Kayode beyond reasonable doubt and consequently acquitted him.
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Femi Fani Kayode Wife – Fani Kayode Daughters
Femi Fani Kayode has been married three times. His first marriage was to Saratu “Baby” Atta in 1987 but they were divorced by 1990. They have one daughter whose name is Oluwafolake. The second marriage was to Yemisi Olasunbo Adeniji in 1991 but they were divorced by 1995. They have three daughters whose names are Oluwatemitope, Oluwatobiloba and Oluwatuminu. The third marriage was to Regina-Hanson Amonoo. They were married in 1997. They have one daughter whose name is Oluwaremilekun. Femi Fani Kayode is married to Precious Chikwendu Fani-Kayode. On 1 February 2016 Fani-Kayode and his wife, delivered a baby-boy, their first child. He was christened Joshua Oluwafemi Emmanuel Lotanna Aragorn Fani-Kayode. He is Fani-Kayode’s first son.