Kashamu replies NDLEA, says agency has no role in extradition process
Ogun East Senator-elect, Buruji Kashamu, has replied a notice of extradition served him by the NDLEA on Tuesday, saying the NDLEA has no role to play in extradition proceedings until a warrant of arrest has been issued by the court.
Kashamu's lawyer, Ajibola Oluyede, said in a statement that it is the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice that initiates extradition proceedings.
Find the statement below:
Re: Kashamu gets Notice of Extradition
Our attention has been drawn to a press release by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) purporting to have served extradition proceedings on Senator-elect, Prince Buruji Kashamu.
We wish to state that the NDLEA has no role to play in extradition proceedings until a warrant of arrest has been issued by the court. It is the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice that initiates extradition proceedings after receiving a request by an order directed to the court and asking the court to take over the matter.
It is the court that will decide whether a warrant of arrest is necessary. It is the court that will consider all the evidence provided by the United States to see whether it satisfies the onus of proof and that it establishes that the person sough is the person that actually participated in the offence alleged.
In this case, the NDLEA is very jumpy, nervous and unsettled because it has exposed its unprofessionalism when before any extradition proceedings had been commenced at all, it invaded the home of Prince Kashamu, broke down his gates, doors and windows to gain access, harassed his infant children and pregnant wife and humiliated him in the presence of his family.
Clearly, the plan was not extradition but abduction and that plan failed only because it quickly came to the attention of the public.
The belated filing on Thursday, 28 May, 2015 of an application to the Federal High Court by the immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke Bello, is an afterthought. And the lack of quality in the processes is indicative that it is a rushed job quickly done to save his face.
The pieces of evidence which the U.S. authorities have provided him are exactly the same evidence that the British courts found to contain falsehood and held to be incredible and valueless.
I wonder why the immediate past AGF would think that the Nigerian courts can be deceived.
Additionally, it must be borne in mind that during the trial in the United Kingdom, the NDLEA sent its operatives to London to give evidence. And that evidence was to the effect that Prince Buruji Kashamu is not the person wanted for the drug-related offences.
One wonders what has changed now. Although one should not wonder for long knowing that the immediate past AGF and the Chairman of the NDLEA are now working for Prince Kashamu's political opponents who will do anything to deprive him of his mandate which he won in a free and fair election.
There are many things wrong with the documents filed by the immediate past AGF. But all these will be dealt with in the court in due course.
The triumphant announcement by the NDLEA that they have served Prince Kashamu with extradition proceedings is not only laughable but false. He has not been served. Rather, a copy of the process was dropped in our office in Lagos yesterday. So, we shall deal with it in accordance with the law.
In the meantime, the NDLEA should be warned to stay away because they have no role to play in the current proceedings. And if we should discover that they have usurped the functions of the AGF, we shall certainly make an issue of it.