A Lagos Court of Appeal Court, on Friday, gave nod to the request of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to extradite Mr. Buruji Kashamu, Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial district, to the United State of America (USA), to face drug-related charges offences.
The three man-panel of the court maintained this position while delivering the verdict in two separate Appeals filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) against the ruling of the Federal High Court, Lagos and Federal High Court, Abuja restraining NDLEA and other security agencies from arresting and extraditing the senator.
The panel led by justice Justice Yagarta Nimper upheld the Federal Government’s appeal by setting aside the earlier judgements of the Federal High Court, Lagos delivered by Justice Okon Abang.
Besides, the court sets aside the ruling of the lower court nullifying the extradition warrant issued against Senator Buruji Kashamu.
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court had on May 25, 2015, stopped the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and other Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria, perpetually from arresting, detaining, attacking or otherwise effecting the abduction of Senator Kashamu upon charges based on allegations of drug trafficking leveled against him by the United States Government.
He also set aside and nullified the warrant for the arrest of Senator Kashamu, by Justice Saliu Saidu
In unanimous verdict delivered on Friday, by Justice Nimpar and supported by Justices Joseph Ikyegh and Anthony Ogakwu,the trio upheld the argument of counsel to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Emeka Ngige, (SAN) that Justice Abang was in error in granting some of the injunctive reliefs sought by Senator Kashamu upon inadmissible evidence.
They also held that the trial judge having struck out several paragraphs in the affidavit relating to allegations that General Olusegun Obasanjo was behind the travails of the senator and the alleged plans to forcibly abduct him to the United States to face drug charges, the same court was wrong to have retained other paragraphs of the same affidavit containing hearsay allegations against Mr. Dapo Abiodun and Chief Godwin Obla, SAN.
The court observed that Justice Abang relied heavily on speculations and conjectures in arriving at his judgment which are not permitted in law.
The court further carpeted Justice Abang for not giving counsel from the Attorney-General’s chambers the opportunity to file a counter affidavit in opposition to the case file presented by Kashamu,when under the rules they still had three days to react to the processes, adding that this infraction nullified the entire proceedings.
The appellate court allowed the Federal Government appeals, set aside the judgment and ruling delivered by Justice Abang on May 25, and on June 8, 2015 respectively.
It further set aside the consequential order by Justice Abang in which he nullified the warrant of arrest issued by Justice Saidu of Federal High Court, Lagos for the arrest and commencement of extradition proceedings against Senator Kashamu at the Federal High Court Abuja.