Court to hear Kashamu application on extradition to USA on June 6
Justice Chukwujekwu Joseph Aneke of a Federal High Court, Lagos has fixed June 6, 2019 for the hearing of an application filed by senator representing Ogun East Senatorial district at the National Assembly, Buruji Kashamu, asking for the reopening of his suit against the Attorney General of the Federation and six others to stop his extradition to the United State of America (USA) to face drug related charges.
Kashamu instituted the suit to challenge the Federal government’s bid to extradite him to the USA where he was wanted on alleged drug trafficking offences. Other respondents in the suit are, Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Department of State Security (DSS) and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF). At the resumed hearing, Kashamu’s counsel, Ifeoma Esom, informed the court of his motion seeking to reopened hearing in the suit. She told the court that her client’s motion to reopen the matter was based on the discovery of new facts, which would assist the court in doing justice. Responding, NDLEA’s director of legal, J .N Sunday admitted service of the application and told the court that he had already filed his response to it.
He drew the attention of the court to the fact that the presence of the AGF’s office is very important in the hearing of the application, adding that he doubt if the AGF was served with notice of hearing.
The court therefore adjourned the matter to June 6, 2019 for hearing. Kashamu in his application is praying the court to reopen hearing, which had already been concluded. Esom said the application is predicted on the recent discovery of the Extradition (Amendment) Act 2018 which came to effect on November 6, 2018 and would be relevant.
However, NDLEA in its counter-affidavit to Kashamu’s motion said the applicant has never been exonerated of complicity of any crime by any court in Nigeria, the US or the UK and both the British and Nigeria courts never exonerated the applicant of any charge. Kashamu in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/930/18 has asked the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining all the respondents from arresting or detaining him in any matter whatsoever interfering with his personal liberty and freedom of movement on the basis of his lawyer letter dated May 23, 2018, wherein he protested the NDLEA’s invitation to USA to send a request for his extradition.
He had also urged the court for a declaration that the instructions given by the AGF to other respondents on May 25, 2018, in reaction to his letter dated May 23, 2018, wherein he protested the NDLEA’s invitation to the USA to send a request for his extradition to US, and the attempt and any further attempts by the first to fourth respondents to arrest him on the basis of the AGF’s said instructions are breach of his fundamental rights to personal liberty and freedom of as guaranteed by the Constitution. However, NDLEA in its preliminary objection filed before the court by J. N. Sunday and Ichakpa Oigoga, urged the court to dismiss Kashamu’s suit for being incompetent, as it failed to disclose any infringement of his right.
The anti-narcotic agency in the affidavit in support of the preliminary objection deposed to by one of its litigation/exhibit officers, Kareem Olayinka, stated that the authority of the USA are currently seeking to have Kashamu extradited to their country to answer charges relating to the trafficking in heroin. The deponent also states that since the applicant began get wind of the extradition request he has filed multiplicity of law suits relating to the issue.
Among the suits filed by the include, suit numbers FHC/L/CS/508/14, FHC/L/CS 508/2015, FHC/L/CS/763/2015 and FHC/L/CS/479/2015, before Justice O. E. Abang, Justice Nasir Ibrahim Buba and Justice G. O. Kolawole. He urged the court to dismiss Kashamu’s suit as it failed to disclose any cause of action against the AGF, for violation of his rights and that the multiplicity of actions continuously filed and maintained by the applicant against NDLEA is intend to annoy and divert its energy and attention from discharging its mandate to the nation.He also stated that it is apparent that Kashamu is only engaged in shopping for forum that will grant his desired relief by the multiplicity of his actions.