26 May 2015

NDLEA dares Court order; ...vows to maintain siege on Buruji Kashamu’s house

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has said that an order issued by a federal court, Tuesday, directing its personnel to vacate Buruji Kashamu’s home, would not stop it from performing its statutory responsibilities “in a lawful manner”.

Mr. Kashamu, a prominent member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party and Senator-elect for Ogun East, is wanted in the United States for drug related offences.

A Court in Lagos had issued a ruling ordering NDLEA operatives who had laid a siege on Mr. Kashamu’s home in Lagos, since the early hours of Saturday, to vacate the politician’s house.

The NDLEA said its operatives placed Mr. Kashamu under house arrest after it received a formal extradition request from the U.S.

On Monday, Mr. Kashamu failed to appear for the extradition hearing, with his lawyers claiming that the anti-narcotics agency did not have a court warrant for the house arrest.

In addition to the court’s vacation order on Tuesday, the judge also summoned Mohammed Adoke and Ahmadu Giade, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Chairman of the NDLEA respectively, to appear before him at the next adjourned date.

But in a reaction to the vacation order, the NDLEA said it had not received the court order and described media reports of the judge’s decision as “diversionary and inconsequential”.
“The NDLEA does not believe that any court will issue an order preventing a government agency from performing its statutory responsibilities in a lawful manner,” Mitchell Ofoyeju, the agency’s spokesperson said in a statement.

“The agency has therefore refused to be distracted and will continue to maintain presence at the residence. It is advisable that Kashamu respects the law by submitting himself to the due process of the law.

“The NDLEA wishes to reiterate that his rights like that of other citizens shall be respected and the due process of law followed in this case.

“The agency is prepared to further increase her public rating and goodwill in the areas of suspect handling, respect for human rights and the rule of law. We are prepared to explore all legal means in handling this case to a logical conclusion.”
The NDLEA spokesperson insisted that the agency had received a formal request from the United States Government for Mr. Kashamu’s extradition.

He also said that contrary to the claims by Mr. Kashamu’s lawyers, that the agency has a provisional Warrant of Arrest on him.
“According to official record, Kashamu has been a target of both the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for over 20 years and was further indicted by the Grand Jury in the Northern District of Illinois, United States on heroin trafficking charges,” Mr. Ofoyeju said.
Credit: Ben Ezeamalu/Premium Times

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