Daily Trust - Buruji Kashamu’s many battles with the law
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Buruji Kashamu’s many battles with the law

The manifestation of his ‘ordinariness’ came to the fore last Saturday, May 23 when officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) placed him under house arrest over drug related offences he allegedly committed in the US some years ago. This is sequel to a formal request for extradition received from the Embassy of the United States of America pending his arraignment before a Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday, May 25.
Before then, Kashamu had accused former president Olusegun Obasanjo of inciting the US to re-open his drug trial having out rightly denied that he was not indicted by a US court over the charges. But the NDLEA in a statement maintained that the senator-elect has been a target of both the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for over 20 years and was indicted in the Northern District of Illinois, United States on charges brought against him by ICE.
Kashamu,, who US court documents allege was known in those days as the leader of a prolific heroin trafficking ring based in Chicago, Illinois as ‘God,’ ‘Daddy,’ and ‘Kasmal,’ is wanted to stand trial on charges of conspiracy and importation of controlled substances, namely heroin, into the United States dating back to 1994.  Kashamu, who holds dual Nigerian/Beninese citizenship, has taken multiple preemptive actions to thwart US extradition efforts such as making fanciful claims that his is a case of mistaken identity, and that his deceased brother was responsible for the crimes he is being sought after in America. Kashamu has filed injunctions in federal courts both in the Northern District of Illinois, United States and in Nigeria to prevent his arrest and prosecution.
According to the statement at the time of his arrest, NDLEA officers allowed Kashamu’s legal attorneys – Daniel Onamusi and Mr. Ajibola Oloyede – and close family members, including his wife and adult daughters, to speak with him and attest to his well-being.
“The NDLEA has assured Kashamu that he will be afforded all the protections of the law and will be given his day in court. Assertions that he will be bundled up under cover of darkness and whisked out of the country are untrue and should not be given any credence,” noted the statement.
But in anticipation that the controversial politician would be brought to court on May 25 for extradition hearing, his supporters stormed the court Ikoyi premises protesting his arrest by the anti-narcotics agency. They displayed placards with inscriptions such as: “Leave Kashamu alone,” “We voted for him, he is our man,” “Kashamu is a great statesman,” “Kashamu is not a drug baron,” “Illegal detention, illegal arrest must stop,” “Buruji Kashamu is our senator, OBJ, BG, stay away from him,” “Kashamu is innocent,” “This is democracy, why illegal arrest?” “No warrant of arrest detaining Kashamu for no cause,” “Kashamu, Ogun Youths are solidly behind you,” “No to political victimization,” “Leave Kashamu alone, don’t steal our joy from us.”
Kashamu, who was not in court on that day, was said to have insisted that he would not allow the NDLEA officials to take him to court for any extradition hearing until the agency showed him a warrant of arrest. The warrant was said not to be available because the agency was yet to file necessary court papers to that effect.
His counsel, Ajibola Oluyede, criticised the alleged invasion of his client’s home by the anti-narcotics agency, and instituted contempt proceedings against the Attorney General of the Federation and the NDLEA chairman over their roles in the saga. Kashamu wants the court to declare the action of the AGF and the NDLEA chairman as criminal.
He also sought a declaration that the invasion, destruction of property, harassment, humiliation, arrest and detention of the applicant by the NDLEA at the instance of AGF from May 23, and any extradition proceedings commenced thereupon undermines the integrity of the judicial process invoked in the suit No FHC/CS/49/2010 and FHC/CS/508/2015 and the judicial powers exercise by the court by its judgment of January 6, 2014 and order of April 4, 2015 in both action respectively.
Oluyede had argued that the anti-narcotics agency’s action was against the order of Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Lagos, in a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by his client.
On Tuesday, Justice Ibrahim Buba ordered NDLEA officers to vacate the residence of the senator-elect based on counsel’s prayers. “The order of Justice Abang, whether rightly or wrongly must be binding on parties and must be obeyed. The position clearly is that the person against whom an order is made is bound to obey it or go on appeal. The men of the NDLEA are hereby ordered to vacate the residence of the applicant in line with the order of Justice Abang.”
Ironically, the NDLEA turned a deaf ear to the order and described as diversionary and inconsequential reports of a court order directing its men to vacate the senator-elect’s residence. The agency said it does not believe that any court would issue an order preventing a government agency from performing its statutory responsibilities in a lawful manner, adding that it had therefore refused to be distracted and would continue to maintain presence at the residence. It added that 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,” it said.
“We are prepared to explore all legal means in handling this case to a logical conclusion. The Nigerian government has received a formal request from the United States government for the extradition of Prince Buriji Kashamu. It also has a provisional Warrant of Arrest on him contrary to claims by his attorneys,” the agency’s statement said.
It noted that its records show that Kashamu has been a target of both the US DEA and ICE for over 20 years and was further indicted by the Grand Jury in the Northern District of Illinois, on heroin trafficking charges.
On Wednesday, Justice Abang stopped the Inspector General of Police (IGP), AGF and nine others from arresting Kashamu for extradition to the US over alleged drug related offences. He premised his order on an existing verdict of the court delivered on January 6, last year, in which he restrained the IGP, DSS, Nigeria Customs Service and the AGF from taking any step to arrest Kashamu on the strength of a petition linking him to a drug offence.
The judge, who said the order was still subsisting  since there had been no order staying its execution, however refused to grant all the reliefs sought by the applicant that have to do with the involvement former president Obasanjo in his alleged planned arrest.
Interestingly, the NDLEA said in another statement that it would obey the decision of a court of competent jurisdiction on the ongoing case involving the senator-elect. “This is a legal issue and the agency has windows of opportunities to explore legally in advancing its course. NDLEA will not violate court orders or take law into its hands in enforcing its statutory responsibilities,” said the statement.
However, our correspondents report that NDLEA officials were still laying siege on the embattled senator-elect’s as at Thursday, when  about 10 operatives were spotted sitting inside two SUV  vehicles parked close to the building and keeping eyes on it, while three others stood adjacent to it, keeping watch from a safe distance. The agency’s spokesman promised that his men would soon vacate Kashamu’s residence in obedience of the court order.
But the NDLEA said yesterday that its operatives withdrew from the Lekki, Lagos home of the senator-elect “when it officially received a copy of the order from the court on Thursday, May 28, 2015.”
The agency’s spokesman Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju,said in a statement that Kashamu’s counsel had signed an undertaking to produce him in court for hearing.
“This is not the end of the case as the NDLEA has filed a formal extradition process at the Federal High Court. The agency is following the due process of law and will ensure that national interest is balanced against the constitutional rights of Mr. Kashamu,” the statement said.
“The mission of the NDLEA is not and has never been to abduct him, but to engage the extradition process. The agency is taking necessary steps to ensure that Mr. Kashamu will be available to stand trial on extradition charges as required by law.To this end, the NDLEA has a provisional warrant of arrest on him as well as a formal request for his extradition,” it added.
It is obvious that the embattled senator would stay indoors until the anti-narcotics operatives do the needful. Some Nigerians are of the opinion that Kashamu’s ‘trial’ may have been played up to whip up sentiments for him to escape the rod of the new administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

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Buruji Kashamu’s many battles with the law

The manifestation of his ‘ordinariness’ came to the fore last Saturday, May 23 when officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) placed him under house arrest over drug related offences he allegedly committed in the US some years ago. This is sequel to a formal request for extradition received from the Embassy of the United States of America pending his arraignment before a Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday, May 25.
Before then, Kashamu had accused former president Olusegun Obasanjo of inciting the US to re-open his drug trial having out rightly denied that he was not indicted by a US court over the charges. But the NDLEA in a statement maintained that the senator-elect has been a target of both the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for over 20 years and was indicted in the Northern District of Illinois, United States on charges brought against him by ICE.
Kashamu,, who US court documents allege was known in those days as the leader of a prolific heroin trafficking ring based in Chicago, Illinois as ‘God,’ ‘Daddy,’ and ‘Kasmal,’ is wanted to stand trial on charges of conspiracy and importation of controlled substances, namely heroin, into the United States dating back to 1994.  Kashamu, who holds dual Nigerian/Beninese citizenship, has taken multiple preemptive actions to thwart US extradition efforts such as making fanciful claims that his is a case of mistaken identity, and that his deceased brother was responsible for the crimes he is being sought after in America. Kashamu has filed injunctions in federal courts both in the Northern District of Illinois, United States and in Nigeria to prevent his arrest and prosecution.
According to the statement at the time of his arrest, NDLEA officers allowed Kashamu’s legal attorneys – Daniel Onamusi and Mr. Ajibola Oloyede – and close family members, including his wife and adult daughters, to speak with him and attest to his well-being.
“The NDLEA has assured Kashamu that he will be afforded all the protections of the law and will be given his day in court. Assertions that he will be bundled up under cover of darkness and whisked out of the country are untrue and should not be given any credence,” noted the statement.
But in anticipation that the controversial politician would be brought to court on May 25 for extradition hearing, his supporters stormed the court Ikoyi premises protesting his arrest by the anti-narcotics agency. They displayed placards with inscriptions such as: “Leave Kashamu alone,” “We voted for him, he is our man,” “Kashamu is a great statesman,” “Kashamu is not a drug baron,” “Illegal detention, illegal arrest must stop,” “Buruji Kashamu is our senator, OBJ, BG, stay away from him,” “Kashamu is innocent,” “This is democracy, why illegal arrest?” “No warrant of arrest detaining Kashamu for no cause,” “Kashamu, Ogun Youths are solidly behind you,” “No to political victimization,” “Leave Kashamu alone, don’t steal our joy from us.”
Kashamu, who was not in court on that day, was said to have insisted that he would not allow the NDLEA officials to take him to court for any extradition hearing until the agency showed him a warrant of arrest. The warrant was said not to be available because the agency was yet to file necessary court papers to that effect.
His counsel, Ajibola Oluyede, criticised the alleged invasion of his client’s home by the anti-narcotics agency, and instituted contempt proceedings against the Attorney General of the Federation and the NDLEA chairman over their roles in the saga. Kashamu wants the court to declare the action of the AGF and the NDLEA chairman as criminal.
He also sought a declaration that the invasion, destruction of property, harassment, humiliation, arrest and detention of the applicant by the NDLEA at the instance of AGF from May 23, and any extradition proceedings commenced thereupon undermines the integrity of the judicial process invoked in the suit No FHC/CS/49/2010 and FHC/CS/508/2015 and the judicial powers exercise by the court by its judgment of January 6, 2014 and order of April 4, 2015 in both action respectively.
Oluyede had argued that the anti-narcotics agency’s action was against the order of Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Lagos, in a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by his client.
On Tuesday, Justice Ibrahim Buba ordered NDLEA officers to vacate the residence of the senator-elect based on counsel’s prayers. “The order of Justice Abang, whether rightly or wrongly must be binding on parties and must be obeyed. The position clearly is that the person against whom an order is made is bound to obey it or go on appeal. The men of the NDLEA are hereby ordered to vacate the residence of the applicant in line with the order of Justice Abang.”
Ironically, the NDLEA turned a deaf ear to the order and described as diversionary and inconsequential reports of a court order directing its men to vacate the senator-elect’s residence. The agency said it does not believe that any court would issue an order preventing a government agency from performing its statutory responsibilities in a lawful manner, adding that it had therefore refused to be distracted and would continue to maintain presence at the residence. It added that 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,” it said.
“We are prepared to explore all legal means in handling this case to a logical conclusion. The Nigerian government has received a formal request from the United States government for the extradition of Prince Buriji Kashamu. It also has a provisional Warrant of Arrest on him contrary to claims by his attorneys,” the agency’s statement said.
It noted that its records show that Kashamu has been a target of both the US DEA and ICE for over 20 years and was further indicted by the Grand Jury in the Northern District of Illinois, on heroin trafficking charges.
On Wednesday, Justice Abang stopped the Inspector General of Police (IGP), AGF and nine others from arresting Kashamu for extradition to the US over alleged drug related offences. He premised his order on an existing verdict of the court delivered on January 6, last year, in which he restrained the IGP, DSS, Nigeria Customs Service and the AGF from taking any step to arrest Kashamu on the strength of a petition linking him to a drug offence.
The judge, who said the order was still subsisting  since there had been no order staying its execution, however refused to grant all the reliefs sought by the applicant that have to do with the involvement former president Obasanjo in his alleged planned arrest.
Interestingly, the NDLEA said in another statement that it would obey the decision of a court of competent jurisdiction on the ongoing case involving the senator-elect. “This is a legal issue and the agency has windows of opportunities to explore legally in advancing its course. NDLEA will not violate court orders or take law into its hands in enforcing its statutory responsibilities,” said the statement.
However, our correspondents report that NDLEA officials were still laying siege on the embattled senator-elect’s as at Thursday, when  about 10 operatives were spotted sitting inside two SUV  vehicles parked close to the building and keeping eyes on it, while three others stood adjacent to it, keeping watch from a safe distance. The agency’s spokesman promised that his men would soon vacate Kashamu’s residence in obedience of the court order.
But the NDLEA said yesterday that its operatives withdrew from the Lekki, Lagos home of the senator-elect “when it officially received a copy of the order from the court on Thursday, May 28, 2015.”
The agency’s spokesman Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju,said in a statement that Kashamu’s counsel had signed an undertaking to produce him in court for hearing.
“This is not the end of the case as the NDLEA has filed a formal extradition process at the Federal High Court. The agency is following the due process of law and will ensure that national interest is balanced against the constitutional rights of Mr. Kashamu,” the statement said.
“The mission of the NDLEA is not and has never been to abduct him, but to engage the extradition process. The agency is taking necessary steps to ensure that Mr. Kashamu will be available to stand trial on extradition charges as required by law.To this end, the NDLEA has a provisional warrant of arrest on him as well as a formal request for his extradition,” it added.
It is obvious that the embattled senator would stay indoors until the anti-narcotics operatives do the needful. Some Nigerians are of the opinion that Kashamu’s ‘trial’ may have been played up to whip up sentiments for him to escape the rod of the new administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

More Stories