NDLEA refuses to vacate Kashamu residence despite court order

By The Rainbow
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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has refused to vacate the residence of Ogun State Senator-elect, Buruji Kashamu, who has been holed up since Saturday, despite court order.

The NDLEA rather sees as diversionary and inconsequential the order directing its men to vacate the residence of Senator-elect, Buruji Kashamu, and requesting both the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Bello Adoke, and the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, to appear in court.

The court headed by Justice Ibrahim Buba Had ruled on Tuesday afternoon that the more than 50 operatives of the NDLEA who had laid siege to the Lekki Phase 1 home of the Peoples Democratic Party chieftain since Saturday should vacate the duplex immediately.

According to the court, the siege to the Ijebu politician's home as sub judice, stressing that it did not follow due process. Also, the court barred any move by the NDLEA to arrest Kashamu, who had been holed up in his bedroom ever since, pending the ruling on a fundamental right application he filed before Justice Okon Abang of the same court.

Abang had on May 8, fixed Wednesday, May 27, 2015, as the date to rule on the said application filed by Kashamu against the Inspector-General of Police and 13 others.

Kashamu, through his lawyers, have been seeking an order of the court restraining the defendants from giving effect to an alleged plot to abduct and forcibly extradite him to the United States of America to face alleged drug trafficking charges.

Buba pronounced the action of the NDLEA operatives as sub judice and ordered the men of the Nigerian Police Force to ensure that the NDLEA operatives vacate Kashamu's premises “without a free for all.”

He said,  “I am of the opinion that the justice of this case at this point demands that the men of the NDLEA numbering up to 50 or more stationed at the residence of the applicant be ordered to vacate the premises in view of the subsisting order made by Abang J. The parties shall stay all actions pending the determination of the application before Abang J. The Nigeria Police Force is directed or informed that there is an alleged contempt proceedings instituted by the applicant against the respondents, and are to ensure that orders of this court are obeyed, as it is the duty of all authorities and principalities and agents of government to obey court order.

“There shall be no room for a free for all. The defendants, who are alleged contemnors, are directed by this court not to do anything to undermine the judicial process of this court.”

But the NDLEA said it does not believe that any court will issue an order preventing a government agency from performing its statutory responsibilities in a lawful manner, insisting will continue to maintain presence at the residence.

The agency, in a statement by its spokesman, Mitchel Ofoyeju, reiterated it’s advice to  Kashamu that he should respect the law by submitting himself to the due process of the law.

It said,  “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 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.

“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.”

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