Kashamu’s house arrest, extradition based on US request – FG
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), said on Saturday that the house arrest which the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency placed on the Ogun-East Senator-elect, Buruji Kashamu, was informed by a recent extradition request by the United States of America.
Adoke told one of our correspondents on the telephone on Saturday that the request came last week.
On May 6, the minister had disclosed to one of our correspondents that there was no extradition request for Buruji by the US.
Adoke said this while responding to a suit filed by Kashamu to restrain the NDLEA and 13 others from extraditing him to the US.
“The request came shortly after I spoke with you. It came last week,” he said.
He said immediately his office received the request it was passed to the appropriate organ of government for implementation.
The implementation process involves filing an extradition request before the appropriate division of the Federal High Court.
Responding to further inquiry, he confirmed that he was referring to the NDLEA as the appropriate organ of government to take up the extradition request.
“Of course, it is a drug-related offence and the appropriate government agency that handles such cases is the NDLEA,” Adoke said.
The NDLEA confirmed the confinement of the movement of Kashamu to his Lagos residence on Oladipo Street, Lekki Phase 1 pending his appearance in court on Monday (tomorrow).
The spokesperson for the NDLEA, Michael Ofoyeju, said the action was to perfect his extradition to the US for drug-related charges.
In a statement sent via email to one of our correspondents by the spokesperson for the agency, Michael Ofoyeju, the Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, was quoted as saying the operation was in line with the legal process of extradition.
The statement further quoted Giade thus, “The agency has commenced extradition procedures against Senator-elect, Buruji Kashamu in line with the laws of country. He has been in contact with his attorneys and will appear in court on Monday.”
He also confirmed that the residence of Kashamu was raided by the operatives of the agency at about 5am on Saturday.
No fewer than 10 operatives of the agency were said to have invaded the Lagos residence of Kashamu, around 5am on Saturday to effect his arrest following a purported extradition request from the United States on drug- related charges.
They were said to be heavily armed and were ruthless.
As soon as they stormed his residence, Punch Newspaper reported that some of the NDLEA operatives brought out a yellow tape and cordoned off the area, while others went straight to the gate.
After they (operatives) reportedly knocked on Kashamu’s gate, his security men were alerted about their mission.
Kashamu’s security men at this point demanded the arrest warrant from the NDLEA men but they could not produce any.
Based on this, they were prevented from entering the residence.
However, this action was said to have infuriated the NDLEA officials who stormed the compound after destroying the gate.
The media aide to Kashamu, Austin Oniyokor, in a statement made available to our correspondent on Saturday, explained that the NDLEA operatives after they had forcibly entered the compound, headed for the living rooms and began to destroy all the doors one after other, in a desperate move to arrest Kashamu.
An NDLEA source said they (operatives) closed in on the bedroom of the PDP chief who was said to have threatened to commit suicide if the agency tried to extradite him to the US forcibly.
Oniyokor described the latest onslaught on his principal as a confirmation of the alleged plot to illegally abduct him despite the pending suit against his abduction.
Oniyokor, however, accused a Peoples Democratic Party leader, Chief Bode George, as being behind the onslaught against his boss, “in a bid to score cheap political points.”
He said he is doing this through his wife who is the Director-General of the agency.
“We urge all well meaning Nigerians to prevail on NDLEA, Chief George and his wife to toe the path of the rule of law and follow due process.
“Nigeria is not a Banana republic. The United States being the bastion of democracy, the rule of law and due process, should not lend itself to this kind of illegality.”
However, George, who spoke to one of our correspondents from the United Kingdom On Saturday, described the allegation as a ‘huge joke.’
The PDP leader said he did not have the power to give his wife orders because she was not the chairman of the NDLEA and the agency adheres to due process.
He said no right thinking Nigerian would believe that he was behind Kashamu’s ordeal because his name had never been mentioned before now. He added that he had never been involved in Ogun State politics before and wondered how Kashamu’s detention could benefit him (George).
He said, “I don’t understand what this is all about. How does Kashamu’s arrest affect the price of milk? My wife is not the chairman of the NDLEA, so how can I give her orders when she has a boss? Also, that agency always follows due process.
“I am happy that the NDLEA has issued a statement to the effect that Kashamu’s arrest has nothing to do with me or politics. I do not dabble into Ogun State politics.
“Kashamu is like a younger brother to me and he is not known to speak in such a manner. I am sure it is his media adviser that concocted this falsehood.”