Court stops move to extradite Sen Kashamu to US

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By Agency Report

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday restrained the Federal Government from taking steps to extradite Senator Buruji Kashamu to the United State on allegation of his complicity in illicit drug trade.

Justice Okon Abang, in a judgment, held that neither the Federal Governor nor any of its agents could validly initiate extradition proceedings against Kashamu in view of subsiting restraining orders and judgments  in his favour, which have remain unchallenged.

Justice Abang particularly noted that  the judgement given by the Federal High Court, Lagos on January 6, 2014 (in suit No:49/2010) and another judgment of July 1, 2016 given by the Federal High Court , Abuja (in suit No: 479/2015), which prohibited Kashamu’s extradition on account of the US drug allegation, are still subsisting.

The judgement was on a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/530/18 filed by Kashamu, with the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) as defendants.

Kashamu had, in the suit challenged the propriety of a letter by Shehu Bodinga of the Central Control Unit in  the AGF’s office, requesting  the United States’ embassy in Nigeria to forward a fresh extradition application after the judgment by Justice Gabriel Kolawole (then of the Federal High Court, Abuja) in suit  suit No: 479/2015 voiding an earlier extradition proceedings.

Justice Abang, in his judgement, noted that Justice Kolawole’s judgment, in nullifying the earlier extradition proceedings, was based on two judgments of the Federal High Court in suits Nos: 49/2010 and 508/2015, declaring as unlawful all attempts to extradite Kashamu in view of the judgements by two British courts which held that he was not the person involved in the drug crime in the US.

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The judge noted that while the AGF successfully challenged the court’s decisions in suit 508/2015, which was set aside in the appeals marked: 1030 and 1030a on May 4, 2018, the AGF failed to appeal the other judgment in the suit No: 49/2010.

Justice Abang held that, since the judgment in suit No: 49/2010 which contained a specific order restraining the AGF from exercising his power of extradition under the Extradition Act, was not challenged, it remains alive along with the restraining order.

The judge also held that since the subsequent judgment by Justice Kolawole was also not appealed, it remains subsisting and binding on all parties.

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