The senator representing Ogun East, Mr Buruji Kashamu, has commenced a fresh suit to stop the Federal Government from extraditing him to the United States to face trial for alleged drug offences.
Kashamu filed the fresh suit before the Federal High Court in Lagos through his new lawyer, Mr Rickey Tarfa (SAN).
He explained that the suit was inspired by a May 13, 2018 report, titled, “Kashamu: FG demands fresh US request for extradition suit.”
He said in the report, the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), was quoted to have said that, “The US government has been told to make a fresh request for the senator after the former extradition proceedings were dismissed. As soon as the US government sends a fresh request, the new extradition proceedings will be commenced.”
The senator said he believed that the statement reportedly made by the AGF was further to a letter dated July 14, 2016 with Ref. No. CAU/EXT080/15, “written on the instructions of the AGF, under the hand of one Shehu A. Bodinga of the Central Authority Unit of the Federal Ministry of Justice to the ambassador of the United States to Nigeria.”
According to him, in the said letter, the AGF had stated that, “Given the dismissal of the application for extradition of the suspect by Justice Kolawole, we can only bring up the case by filing a fresh extradition application, should the Court of Appeal rule in our favour.
“In this regard, the US Department of Justice needs to process and resubmit a new (original) extradition package, which is required under our laws, for the adjudicating judge’s file.”
But Kashamu, in his affidavit, maintained that he was not the person wanted for narcotics offences in the US, adding that the British court had in 2003 exonerated him.
He said, “The position is that the respondents are well aware that the applicant was not involved in the alleged narcotics offence committed in the US in 1994 and that the British court has exonerated the applicant of any such complicity in the proceedings brought against the applicant by the US authorities in London from 1998 to 2003.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by two officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Dan Asebe Umaru and Femi Oloruntoba, had given evidence at the second of the said proceedings instituted in England by the US authorities against the applicant at the Bow Street Magistrates’ Court between 2002 and 2003, that the applicant was not the person implicated in the alleged narcotics offence committed in the US in 1994 and District Judge Time Workman had consequently found in his judgment that the extradition matter, delivered on the 10th of January 2003, that the applicant was not the person sought by the US authorities.”
Kashamu said he was also exonerated by Lord Justice Pill at the High Court in the Hebeas Corpus.
He, therefore, argued that the US government having not appealed against the judgment, any attempt to extradite him to the US was an illegality.