From Alex Enumah in Abuja
Justice Babatunde Quadri of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Tuesday stopped the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) from taking further steps in their alleged renewed plot to extradite Senator Buruji Kashamu to the United States.
Justice Quadri gave the order while delivering ruling on an ex-parte application filed by the senator.
The judge in his ruling particularly ordered parties to maintain status quo pending the determination of the substantive suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/530/18, which was filed by Kashamu.
The judge also granted the applicant leave to serve processes in relation to the suit, including the originating summons on NDLEA outside the jurisdiction of the court at 4 Shaw Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Kashamu’s counsel, J.O. Odubela SAN, in arguing the application, said his client resorted to seeking the court’s protection upon being informed that the respondents had renewed plans to extradite his client to the US.
He said the applicant had been able to established that, if the court did not intervene and protect him, by restraining the defendants from abducting, arresting or detaining him with the intention to extradite him, his rights would have been breached before the hearing of his substantive suit.
Odubela added: “We have showed that the applicant had even been tried in England and exonerated. Our contention is whether, in view of the judgment of the court in England, the FG or any of its agencies can still request the US to file a fresh request for the extradition of the applicant.”
Upon enquiry from the court, Odubela said the Court of Appeal gave judgment on May 4 this year and reversed the judgment by the Federal High Court, Lagos, prohibiting Kashamu’s extradition.
He said the Court of Appeal, in reversing the judgement, noted that there was no evidence that the AGF and NDLEA were taking steps to effect his extradition as at when the judgment was given.
Odubela added: “We have also appealed to the Supreme Court and filed a motion for injunction. Despite that, they (the defendants) have gone ahead to tell the US government that the case on the matter is over and that they can make fresh request for his extradition.”
He said but now, there are actual evidence of steps being taken by the defendants to extradite the applicant.
Odubela tendered a certified true copy of Punch newspaper of May 13, 2018 where it was reported that FG had demanded for fresh US request for the extradition of the applicant.
He added that two days after the judgement of the Appeal Court, an official of the NDLEA, Shehu Abubakar, told his client that plans were at advance stage to have him arrested and taken to the US within a week.
The judge subsequently adjourned to September 24 for hearing of the substantive suit.