Billionaire businessman and Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District, Buruji Kashamu, has many battle to fight – past and present.
It is a fact that the chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has been in a battle of wits and lawsuits over who controls in Ogun State.
But beyond this, he is said to be fighting another ‘battle’.
Society Watch gathered that the Iperu-Remo, Ogun State-born billionaire, last Monday, filed a suit to forestall the fresh move by the Federal Government of Nigeria to extradite him to the United States of America to face drug-related charges.
Joined as defendants in the suit are the Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police Lagos State Command, Director general of Department of State Service, DSS, Director of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA and the Attorney General of the Federal, AGF.
When the matter was mentioned, O. O. Odubela -Nasir, counsel representing Kashamu, told the court that the matter was adjourned for hearing that day and that all the respondents had been served with proof of service in court’s records.
Consequently, the Presiding Judge, Chukwujekwu Aneke, directed her to move her application.
Thereafter, she told the court that the application was dated May 31, 2018 and filed on June 14, 2018 .
She further said the application was supported by a 33- paragraph affidavit with three exhibits attached to it.
However, the counsel representing Director of General State Security Services, A.O. Bajela ,informed the court that he had not been served with the further affidavit filed by the counsel to the applicant, but had only been served with a reply on point of law.
Consequently, Justice Aneke adjourned for further hearing for the applicant to regularise her position.
The senator in an affidavit sworn to and filed before the court averred that in a newspaper publication entitled “Kasamu: FG Demands Fresh US Request For Extradition Suit,” wherein the Attorney General of the Federation was reported to have said, “The US Government has been told to make a fresh request for the senator after the former extradition proceedings were dismissed…… as soon as US Government sends a fresh request, the new extradition proceedings will be commenced.”
Kashamu also averred further that whereas in a proceedings instituted in England by the US authorities against him at the Bow Street Magistrate Court between 2002 and 2003 , he was not the one implicated in the alleged narcotics offence committed in the US in 1994.
He said, therefore, that he was not the person sought by the US authorities.
Consequently, he urged the court to restrain the respondents and their agents from arresting or detaining him in any manner whatsoever interfering with his right to personal liberty and freedom of movement.
However, in a counter- affidavit sworn to by NDLEA litigation officer , Kareem Olayinka, the deponent averred that Kashamu had never been exonerated of any complicity of any crime by any court either in Nigeria, United States of America or He also stated that Kashamu’s argument that he had been exonerated of crime/charges of illicit traffic in narcotic drugs was false.
“The decision of British courts did not exonerate him of any drug charges. “NDLEA is unaware of any Interpol or indeed any law enforcement agency in or outside Nigeria that investigated the applicant.
“NDLEA contended that the claims of the applicant in his affidavit are false and a rehash of an earlier story narrated in an affidavit in support of a suit filed at the Abuja
“The Lagos division of the Court of Appeal deprecated this conduct and declared it as lacking in cause of action in its judgment delivered on 4th of May, 2018.
“The suit number FH /L /CS /508/2014 was for the enforcement of the applicant’s fundamental rights on the fabricated and moot claim of a purported plot to abduct and kidnap him by law enforcement agencies and has nothing to do with the execution of extradition request.
“While the suit was pending, the Federal Government of the United States of America filed a request for extradition of the applicant.
“AGF then requested NDLEA to secure the applicant order in order to present him before a Federal court to face the extradition charge, where the court will inquire if there
“The NDLEA then received intelligence that the applicant, who has been anticipating the request and monitoring events was about to flee the country and disappear.
“That it was on this basis that NDLEA moved to secure the application and obtained a provisional warrant of arrest.
“Even when the applicant was aware that the execution of the extradition request and provisional warrant of arrest has no bearing with suit number FHC /L /CS/508/2014, he surreptitiously misled the Federal High Court presided over by O. E. Abang into conducting a contempt proceedings against the NDLEA and AGF and issuing orders restraining the execution of the extradition request of the Government of the United States of America and setting aside quashing the provisional warrant of arrest duly issued by a more senior judge of the same Federal High Court.
“All the decisions that Justice O. E. Abang, in both the substantive and contempt proceedings, have been set aside and the provisional warrant of arrest validated by the
The NDLEA contended that the essence of the suit by the applicant was to divert attention, as well as preempt or undermine the perceived extradition request to be made by the Government of the United States.
The agency, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the suit for being incompetent and an abuse of legal process.
The case has been adjourned untill November 15, 2018.