27 May 2015

Court bars Nigerian government from unlawfully arresting and extraditing alleged drug baron Buruji Kashamu

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High court in Lagos has barred the Nigeria Police, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, the State Security Service, and the Nigerian Customs Service from arresting and extraditing to the United States wanted senator-elect, Buruji Kashamu, for trial over drug related offences.

Justice Abang said the agencies must comply with the letters of the Extradition Act if they must arrest or extradite the fugitive lawmaker-elect.

Mr. Kashamu had filed a fundamental right suit against the ‎Inspector General of Police, NDLEA, SSS, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Nigeria Customs, the Nigeria Immigration Service, and the Chairman of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade.

Delivering his judgement, which started 9:20 am Wednesday morning in Lagos, Justice Abang said the court would not stop the police or NDLEA from its investigations or possible arrest and extradition of Mr. Kashamu but that that must be done within the ambiance of the extradition act.
“The respondents cannot be perpetually restrained from arresting the applicants but are restrained from unlawful arrest of the applicant without compliance to the provision of the extradition act”.
The judge also ruled that the Senator-elect be sworn in ‎as senator of the Federal Repubic of Nigeria by the clerk of the National Assembly.

Another judge, Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos, had on Tuesday ordered personnel of the NDLEA out of Mr. Kashamu’s home.

Mr. Kashamu had been under house arrest since Saturday morning when anti-narcotic agents secured his property.
The NDLEA had said Mr. Kashamu was detained to ensure he appears in court to face extradition proceedings on Monday.

The lawmaker-elect is wanted by United States authorities for alleged drug related offences.

Credit: Micheal Abimboye/Premium Times

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