Fresh Application Stalls Judgment in Kashamu’s Extradition Suit. •Case Adjourned Till May 23

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A Lagos Federal High Court, today, further adjourned until May 23, to reopen hearing in a suit by Senator Buruji Kashamu, seeking to stop his extradition to the United States, to face drug related charges.

Kashamu, who is Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District, in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/930/2018, joined the following as respondents: the Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police Lagos Police Command, Director General State Security Service (DSS), National Drug law Enforcement Agency NDLEA, and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

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

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke had taken arguments in the suit from respective parties and had reserved his judgment until April 29.

On April 29, judgment could not be delivered in the suit as the period fell within the Easter vacation, and the court did not sit. The matter was consequently, adjourned until Friday.

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At the resumed hearing of the matter today, Mr Ichakpa Oigoga, was the only counsel who appeared on the side of the defence, and he announced appearance for the NDLEA.

The court then asked him if he was aware of a letter written by applicant, and when he replied No, Justice Aneke asked the registrar to show him copy of the letter to the court.

After reading the letter, Oigoga informed the court that defence would file its counter affidavit in opposition.

The judge said that since a letter had already been written, the Court had a duty to hear every party.

The Court consequently, adjourned the case until May 23, for hearing.

In the letter, the applicant is seeking to reopen argument in the case which had already been concluded and adjourned for judgment.

In a supporting affidavit, the applicant  averred that by a newspaper publication, the Attorney General of the Federation was reported to have said that the US Government had been told to make fresh request for his extradition,  after the former proceedings were dismissed.

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He averred that, in a proceeding instituted in England by the US authorities between 2002 and 2003, it was established that he was not the one implicated in the alleged narcotics offence committed in the US in 1994.

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

Kashamu, is therefore, urging the court to restrain the respondents and their agents from arresting or detaining him,  in any manner whatsoever, or interfering with the applicants’s right to personal liberty and freedom of movement.
But the NDLEA in the preliminary objection, deposed to by one Kareem Olayinka, averred that authorities of the United States are currently seeking to extradite the applicant to their country, to answer charges relating to Heroine trafficking.

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He said that the US government then made a request to the Nigerian government, for the applicant to be extradited sometime in May 2015.

The Agency said that since Kashamu got wind of the extradition request, he has filed multiplicity of law suits relating to the issue.

He averred that in all these actions the basic relief sought, is a restraining order against the NDLEA, from arresting and extraditing him to the US.

According to the NDLEA, this suit does not disclose any cause of action against the respondent, adding that the multiplicity of the action by the applicant against the NDLEA,  is intended to divert its energy and attention from discharging its mandate to the nation.

He, avers therefore, that the NDLEA needs the protection of the court to stop this trend, as the applicant is only engaged in shopping for a forum that will grant his desired reliefs.

The Agency is therefore, asking the court to dismiss Kashamu’s suit.

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