HURIWA backs AGF, court over suspended extradition
Believing that the tenets of the Nigerian constitution was the basis for the decision,a civil rights group- Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) has applauded the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice Alhaji Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Federal High Court Abuja division and erstihile Attorney General of the Federation Chief Akinlolu Olujimi (SAN) over the decision to suspend sine die the extradition to the United States of Senator Buruji Kashamu.
In the media statement endorsed jointly by the National coordinator, comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA also disclosed that it has also uncovered some questionable political motives behind the attempt by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to extradite the senator representing Ogun East senatorial zone Chief Buruji Kashamu to the USA over drugs related charges.
HURIWA stated that: “As one of the most profoundly patriotic civil rights platforms in the country in the last ten years, we have conducted verifiable, transparent and public interest investigation over this matter of Senator Kashamu and we have come to the conclusion that it would be wrong for Nigeria to extradite Chief Kashamu when even the united Kingdom’s court on two occasions discharged and acquitted him when the United States made attempts to bundle him to the United States of America from the United Kingdom”.
“We think there is more to this case than meets the eyes and we are convinced beyond all reasonable doubts that it is indisputable, that a judgment of an American court cannot supersede the judgment of the British and Nigerian courts. It is a valid fact that British and Nigeria shares corresponding legal system by virtue of the longstanding mutual harmony both politically and affinity by jurisprudence. Therefore, if the British courts gave two judgments which have not been appealed till date (14 years after) and the same have been affirmed by several Nigerian courts, we hereby how anyone would validly say that the recent US court ruling, which arose from a suit which he filed his abduction, is superior or has overriding effect over the previous and subsisting judgments of the British and Nigerian courts.
“Kashamu it must be recalled had faced two extradition proceedings in the United Kingdom at the instance of the United States and the British court found that it was a case of mistaken identity after four rigorous years of trial.
“In 1998, while he was reportedly on a business trip to the United Kingdom in pursuit of his well-known cotton trading business in Liverpool, he was arrested at city Airport in London and detained pursuant to an arrest warrant issued on the basis of an indictment in the United States in which the name “Alaji” had been introduced as party to an alleged offences of importation of narcotics into USA”, HURIWA averred.
On the tripartite agreement reached by the Attorney General of the Federation, NDLEA and Kashamu’s legal team headed by erstwhile AGF, Chief Olujimi (SAN) to shelve his extradition to the USA, HURIWA said it was in compliance to several provisions of the constitution which presumes an accused person innocent until a contrary determination is made by the competent court of law.
Section 6(1) stated thus: “The judicial powers of the Federation shall be vested in the courts to which the section relates, being court established for the federation”.
Besides, section 36(1) states that: “In the determination of his civil rights and obligations, including any question or determination by or against any government or authority, a person shall be entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by a court or other tribunal established by law and constituted in such manner as to secure its independence and impartiality”.
HURIWA also cited section 36 (5) which unambiguously provides that: “Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty”.