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NDLEA sustains siege on Kashamu despite court order




IN its quest to arrest or extradite senator-elect, Buruji Kashamu, to the United States (U.S.) over alleged drug trafficking, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has remained defiant to the Federal High Court in Lagos, which had restrained the police and other law enforcement agencies from so doing.

Further to violating Justice Okon Abang’s order to vacate his premises, the NDLEA has also barred his lawyer from entering the suspect’s house.

Up till about 4pm yesterday, the agency’s officers barricaded the street, restraining neighbours, passers-by and journalists from passing by the building.

Over 50 people were seen protesting against the siege, displaying placards with such inscription as, “Please leave our man alone”, “Do not extradite him, obey the rule of law.”

Kashamu’s lawyer, Mr. Ajibola Oluyede, told journalists yesterday that his client was being traumatised, as nobody has set eyes on him since Saturday. According to him, “we are speaking to him through the door.

He has not eaten any solid food since then, they have to pass liquid in sachet to him through the cracked wall, because they broke the wall.

“He has complained of aches, that his blood circulation has been problematic, but they did not allow him access to his doctor. Doctors cannot attend to him through the door, they have to see him physically.

“There are 12 masked armed men inside the bedroom; they don’t even talk or say anything to know whether they are Nigerians or foreigners.

They recorded all the conversations with audio and video recorder.

The entire household stays in one room, if any of them comes out, he cannot go in again. I came out and they did not allow me in again.”

Oluyede said the court order has been served on the Nigerian Police in Abuja and that they confirmed its receipt at the Police Headquarters in Abuja. Also, “the bailiff of the court has also served them, they were aware.

“The question is, ‘what is stopping the police from taking steps in what is criminal contempt of the court? NDLEA is a statutory body bound by the constitution.”

However, one of the leaders of the protest, a HIV-positive widow, Foluke Sulaimon, said she could not gain access to Kashamu for money as usual. Sulaimon, who is the director of people leaving with HIV in Ijebu North local council of Ogun State, said the council has 5,000 people with HIV, who he has been providing with funds for drugs since 2005.

Another protester, Femi Alawo said “it is a normal peaceful protest to tell NDLEA to obey the rule of law, to obey court order. They said they will not leave this place, we will stay here too.”

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