Justice Ibrahim Bubba, of the Federal High Court in Lagos, has ordered the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to vacate the residence and properties of Senator-Elect Buruji Kashamu. Mr. Kashamu has been under House Arrest since the early hours on Saturday morning, when the NDLEA swarmed around his house.
Mr. Kashamu is currently wanted by the United States on charges of narcotics trafficking. He was incarcerated on similar charges in the United Kingdom, but released before his extradition to the United States.
The NDLEA issued press statements saying that Mr. Kashamu was placed under House Arrest so that it would be certain that he appear before the court on Monday May 25, for a ruling whether an extradition process to the United States would begin. However, the NDLEA was unable to bring Mr. Kashamu to court on Monday.
Mr. Kashamu’s lawyer, Ajibola Oluyede, spoke with SaharaReporters today and said that “the court order is a direct result of the motion I submitted yesterday, telling the court that what the Attorney General and NDLEA were doing was unlawful.” The motion stated that the Attorney General, Mr. Adoke, and the Chairman of the NDLEA were in violation of Mr. Kashamu’s human rights.
“We have now issued charges against the Attorney General and the NDLEA for criminal conduct for how they carried themselves,” Mr. Oluyede told a SaharaReporters correspondent.
He added, “they must now return to court on June 4th to answer these charges.”
Mr. Oluyede also stated that “it is clear that the original purpose of this invasion was to kidnap him [Mr. Kashamu] and ship him off to the US, in violation of the Extradition Act.”
“No arrest warrant was issued by the court, which means they [the Attorney General and NDLEA] never intended to follow legal procedure,” he said.
Mr. Oluyede then revealed that he received information that, “their [the NDLEA and Attorney General] first plan was to abduct him on Saturday and ship him off to the US. It was only when this failed that they started talking about taking him to court.”
Mr. Oluyede also told SaharaReporters that it is obvious that former President Olusegun Obasanjo was behind the latest efforts to arrest Senator-Elect Kashamu. “Prince Kashamu is the political nemesis of Obasanjo, who has now lost relevance in the South West.”
“Obasanjo is now a paper weight electorally in Nigeria, he may have international clout but he cannot get votes for people in Nigeria,” Mr. Oluyede said.
The NDLEA Head of Public Affairs, Mr. Ofoyeju Mitchell, told SaharaReporters that “the NDLEA has not received any court order to vacate Mr. Kashamu’s residence and we believe any order to vacate his residence is diversionary.”
Mr. Mitchell also stated that “the NDLEA refuses to be distracted by his court maneuvers and advises that Kashamu respect the law by submitting himself to the due process of the law.”
Mr. Mitchell also stated that it is false to suggest that the NDLEA has acted unlawfully, “we received a provisional warrant from the Federal High Court.”