Sen­a­tor Bu­ruji Kashamu’s Un­end­ing Bat­tles

THISDAY - - SOCIETY WATCH -

Bil­lion­aire busi­ness­man and Sen­a­tor rep­re­sent­ing Ogun East Se­na­to­rial Dis­trict, Bu­ruji Kashamu, has many bat­tle to fight – past and present.

It is a fact that the chief­tain of the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party, PDP, has been in a bat­tle of wits and law­suits over who con­trols in Ogun State.

But be­yond this, he is said to be fight­ing an­other ‘bat­tle’.

So­ci­ety Watch gath­ered that the Iperu-Remo, Ogun State-born bil­lion­aire, last Mon­day, filed a suit to fore­stall the fresh move by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment of Nige­ria to ex­tra­dite him to the United States of Amer­ica to face drug-re­lated charges.

Joined as de­fen­dants in the suit are the In­spec­tor Gen­eral of Po­lice, Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice La­gos State Com­mand, Di­rec­tor gen­eral of Depart­ment of State Ser­vice, DSS, Di­rec­tor of Na­tional Drug Law En­force­ment Agency, NDLEA and the At­tor­ney Gen­eral of the Fed­eral, AGF.

When the mat­ter was men­tioned, O. O. Odubela -Nasir, coun­sel rep­re­sent­ing Kashamu, told the court that the mat­ter was ad­journed for hear­ing that day and that all the re­spon­dents had been served with proof of ser­vice in court’s records.

Con­se­quently, the Pre­sid­ing Judge, Chuk­wu­jekwu Aneke, di­rected her to move her ap­pli­ca­tion.

There­after, she told the court that the ap­pli­ca­tion was dated May 31, 2018 and filed on June 14, 2018 .

She fur­ther said the ap­pli­ca­tion was sup­ported by a 33- para­graph af­fi­davit with three ex­hibits at­tached to it.

How­ever, the coun­sel rep­re­sent­ing Di­rec­tor of Gen­eral State Se­cu­rity Ser­vices, A.O. Ba­jela ,in­formed the court that he had not been served with the fur­ther af­fi­davit filed by the coun­sel to the ap­pli­cant, but had only been served with a re­ply on point of law.

Con­se­quently, Jus­tice Aneke ad­journed for fur­ther hear­ing for the ap­pli­cant to reg­u­larise her po­si­tion.

The sen­a­tor in an af­fi­davit sworn to and filed be­fore the court averred that in a news­pa­per pub­li­ca­tion en­ti­tled “Kasamu: FG De­mands Fresh US Re­quest For Ex­tra­di­tion Suit,” wherein the At­tor­ney Gen­eral of the Fed­er­a­tion was re­ported to have said, “The US Gov­ern­ment has been told to make a fresh re­quest for the sen­a­tor af­ter the for­mer ex­tra­di­tion pro­ceed­ings were dis­missed...... as soon as US Gov­ern­ment sends a fresh re­quest, the new ex­tra­di­tion pro­ceed­ings will be com­menced.”

Kashamu also averred fur­ther that whereas in a pro­ceed­ings in­sti­tuted in Eng­land by the US au­thor­i­ties against him at the Bow Street Mag­is­trate Court be­tween 2002 and 2003 , he was not the one im­pli­cated in the al­leged nar­cotics of­fence com­mit­ted in the US in 1994.

He said, there­fore, that he was not the per­son sought by the US au­thor­i­ties.

Con­se­quently, he urged the court to re­strain the re­spon­dents and their agents from ar­rest­ing or de­tain­ing him in any man­ner what­so­ever in­ter­fer­ing with his right to per­sonal lib­erty and free­dom of move­ment.

How­ever, in a counter- af­fi­davit sworn to by NDLEA lit­i­ga­tion of­fi­cer , Ka­reem Olayinka, the de­po­nent averred that Kashamu had never been ex­on­er­ated of any com­plic­ity of any crime by any court ei­ther in Nige­ria, United States of Amer­ica or He also stated that Kashamu’s ar­gu­ment that he had been ex­on­er­ated of crime/charges of il­licit traf­fic in nar­cotic drugs was false.

“The de­ci­sion of Bri­tish courts did not ex­on­er­ate him of any drug charges. “NDLEA is un­aware of any In­ter­pol or in­deed any law en­force­ment agency in or out­side Nige­ria that in­ves­ti­gated the ap­pli­cant.

“NDLEA con­tended that the claims of the ap­pli­cant in his af­fi­davit are false and a re­hash of an ear­lier story nar­rated in an af­fi­davit in sup­port of a suit filed at the Abuja

“The La­gos divi­sion of the Court of Ap­peal dep­re­cated this con­duct and de­clared it as lack­ing in cause of ac­tion in its judg­ment de­liv­ered on 4th of May, 2018.

“The suit num­ber FH /L /CS /508/2014 was for the en­force­ment of the ap­pli­cant’s fun­da­men­tal rights on the fab­ri­cated and moot claim of a pur­ported plot to abduct and kid­nap him by law en­force­ment agen­cies and has noth­ing to do with the ex­e­cu­tion of ex­tra­di­tion re­quest.

“While the suit was pend­ing, the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment of the United States of Amer­ica filed a re­quest for ex­tra­di­tion of the ap­pli­cant.

“AGF then re­quested NDLEA to se­cure the ap­pli­cant or­der in or­der to present him be­fore a Fed­eral court to face the ex­tra­di­tion charge, where the court will in­quire if there

“The NDLEA then re­ceived in­tel­li­gence that the ap­pli­cant, who has been an­tic­i­pat­ing the re­quest and mon­i­tor­ing events was about to flee the coun­try and dis­ap­pear.

“That it was on this ba­sis that NDLEA moved to se­cure the ap­pli­ca­tion and ob­tained a pro­vi­sional war­rant of ar­rest.

“Even when the ap­pli­cant was aware that the ex­e­cu­tion of the ex­tra­di­tion re­quest and pro­vi­sional war­rant of ar­rest has no bear­ing with suit num­ber FHC /L / CS/508/2014, he sur­rep­ti­tiously mis­led the Fed­eral High Court presided over by O. E. Abang into con­duct­ing a con­tempt pro­ceed­ings against the NDLEA and AGF and is­su­ing or­ders re­strain­ing the ex­e­cu­tion of the ex­tra­di­tion re­quest of the Gov­ern­ment of the United States of Amer­ica and set­ting aside quash­ing the pro­vi­sional war­rant of ar­rest duly is­sued by a more se­nior judge of the same Fed­eral High Court.

“All the de­ci­sions that Jus­tice O. E. Abang, in both the sub­stan­tive and con­tempt pro­ceed­ings, have been set aside and the pro­vi­sional war­rant of ar­rest val­i­dated by the

The NDLEA con­tended that the essence of the suit by the ap­pli­cant was to di­vert at­ten­tion, as well as preempt or un­der­mine the per­ceived ex­tra­di­tion re­quest to be made by the Gov­ern­ment of the United States.

The agency, there­fore, urged the court to dis­miss the suit for be­ing in­com­pe­tent and an abuse of le­gal process.

The case has been ad­journed un­till Novem­ber 15, 2018.

Kashamu

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