Court gives fresh order against Kashamu’s arrest

Kashamu Buruji

Kashamu Buruji

FOR a second time in 10 days, Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday ordered the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) not to arrest Buruji Kashamu for the purposes of extraditing him to the United States (U.S.) till the hearing and determination of the suit before the court.

Kashamu had, through his counsel, Ajibola Oluyode, sought an order of court restraining the defendants from effecting an alleged plot to abduct and forcibly transport him to the U.S. before his inauguration as senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The other defendants are the chairman of NDLEA, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Inspector General of Police (IGP).

In a bench ruling that will test the capacity of the new administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari to submit to the rule of law, Justice Buba told the law enforcement agencies to ensure that their actions were within the ambit of law and order of court.

“So long as an order of the court still subsists, it should be obeyed, whether rightly or wrongly made,” he said. “I think it is high time the law enforcement agencies stuck to the rule of law and court orders while carrying out their duties.

“Since parties to this matter have submitted that court processes have not been served on them, it is certain that parties are not ready to hear the motion filed by the applicant. I shall adjourn the matter till all court processes are served, heard and determined.

“Nothing should be done to the applicant until all applications in this matter are heard and determined.”

He then adjourned the case to June 19 for hearing of pending applications.

Oluyede had told the court that he filed a further and better affidavit exhibiting the NDLEA press release and newspaper report to the effect that the order of court made on May 26 was inconsequential. He asked the court to make additional order to restore sanity to the operations of the respondents.

He further urged the court to make an order nullifying the order made by the AGF on May 28 for the applicant’s extradition, stating that it formed the basis on which the applicant was exonerated by two British courts, while the Federal High Court had in 2010 prohibited the first respondent from extraditing the applicant.

Oluyede urged the court to restrain the respondents from commencing the extradition in line with the earlier judgment and also nullify any warrant whatsoever that might have been obtained by the respondent, and an order restraining the respondents from obtaining any warrant in respect of any extradition and other orders deemed fit by the court.

However, the respondents told the court that they had not been served with the further and better affidavit that the applicant relied on. Counsel to NDLEA, Sunday Mbonu, said the earlier judgment of Justice Okon Abang on May 27 did not restrain the agency from carrying out its statutory duties in compliance with the extradition law.

He argued that the matter before Abang was that the agency should follow due process in the extradition act, noting: “We are aware that the entire process before the court shows a gross misrepresentation, thereby we applied that the process be struck out because it is an abuse of court process.”

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