Buruji Kashamu is still a wanted man - US insists

Contrary to claims by an Ogun State chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Buruji Kashamu, that he was no longer wanted by the United States authorities for drugs smuggling, the US Justice Department in Illinois has insisted he was still a wanted man.

Kashamu who addressed the press said he was not wanted and infact, not the person wanted by the US drug authorities, insisting that a warrant issued on him about 20 years collapsed once the allegations could not be sustained, leading to a British court ruling that it was a case of mistaken identity.

An exclusive email obtained by African Spotlight from the U.S Department of Justice in Illinois, Randall Samborn, Public Information Officer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago this week insisted that, “There is still a warrant for his arrest in the United States, and the case remains pending.”

Continuing, the officer said, “Last week, his attorneys filed a new motion to dismiss the indictment in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and that is set for a status hearing on Jan. 31, at which time the Court will likely set a briefing schedule for both sides to submit written arguments before any decision is made.”
However, Kashamu in a statement through his Media Adviser, Mr. Austin Oniyokor, yesterday said, "having sufficiently stated our case in the public domain, we would have ignored this latest report except for the fact that if such a lie is allowed to go unchallenged; it could pass for the truth." He noted: "When Prince Kashamu was arrested in London upon the mere suspicion that he fits into the description that the suspects gave, after a rigorous trial spanning three and a half years, he was released once the court found that it was a case of mistaken identity."

"It should also be noted that the case itself is statute barred, according to the US laws, by reason of the fact that it failed to bring any fresh action against Prince Kashamu within two and a half years after his release by the British court.

"Persuaded that he is innocent of charges against him and based on his acquittal and eventual release by the British courts, the third time in a row, Prince Kashamu instructed his lawyers in the US to file an action in the US court seeking to quash the charges against him. Of course, this is inclusive of the initial warrant of arrest that was used to arrest him in London. He took this step to clear his name, once and for all.

"The point that should be noted here is that the latest action in the US was commenced by Prince Kashamu in order to clear his name; not the US authorities.

"We reckon that it will be illogical to expect the US government to drop the warrant and charges without a judicial pronouncement, especially when, according to them, some of those involved are still at large.

“Under US-UK Extradition Treaty, individuals are only extradited after a UK court has reviewed the case and determined that it meets the legal requirements for extradition. In this instance, the unassailable British court reviewed it, found that if falls short of its high standard and freed Prince Kashamu.