Kashamu wanted in America for alleged heroin importation, NDLEA tells Court


The National Drug Law enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has told a Federal High court in Abuja that a serving Senator, Prince Buruji Kashamu is wanted in the United States of America (USA) because of the 6.6kg of heroin he allegedly imported into the country in 1994.
The anti-drug agency claimed that the Senator, representing Ogun East Senatorial District in the Senate allegedly imported the hard drug to the USA in his capacity as the head of a large drug smuggling syndicate operating in Africa, Asia, Europe and America at the period.
In a fresh 54-paragraph counter affidavit filed at the Federal High Court to oppose the innocence claim of the Senator, the NDLEA averred that Kashamu was indicted for hard drug offence but escaped while his alleged co-offenders were arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment in America.
The counter affidavit is in respect of a fresh suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/536/2018 instituted by Kashamu and dated October 16, 2018.
The affidavit deposed to by one Shehu Zakks Mohammed, a litigation officer with NDLEA and sighted in Court explained that following Kashamu’s escape, the American government in 2015 dispatched to the Nigerian government a request for the extradition of Kashamu through diplomatic channel.
NDLEA insisted that there is a valid and subsisting indictment against Buruji Kashamu in the United States’ District of Illinois, Eastern Division supported also with valid of arrest for the serving senator.
The affidavit read in part “The applicant Mr. Buruji Kashamu is alleged to have violated Narcotic Laws of the United States of America by conspiring to import heroin into the country. Heroin is a schedule 1 Narcotic controlled substance under the laws of the USA.
“There is valid and subsisting indictment against the Applicant Mr. Buruji Kashamu in the United States’ District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
“On March 16, 1994 the Applicant was charged in the United States of America Vs. Buruji Kashamu, et al No. 94 CR 172 following the seizure of 6.6 Kilograms of heroin alleged to emanate from him.
“The applicant Buruji Kashamu was further charged with a second superseding indictment filed on May 21, 1998 for conspiracy to import heroin into the United States of America following repeated seizures of heroin similarly alleged to be emanating from him.
“That contrary to his depositions, the applicant has never been exonerated of any drug or related offence by any court of Nigeria, the United States of America (USA) or the United Kingdom (UK)
“That the two judgments of the British Courts were decided on technicalities based on the laws of the UK and did not go into the merits of the extradition charges relating to conspiracy and illicit traffic in narcotic drugs in the USA.
“That the judgment of the High Court of Justice (Queens Bench Division) in suit CO/2141/2000 delivered on 6thOctober 2000 was decided on an application for the exercise of the court’s prerogative writ to quash the committal order of the Metropolitan Magistrate on the grounds of suppression of vital facts in the Examination Request of the United States of America (USA)
“That the decision of the Bow Street Magistrate Court that carried out a further inquisition into the Extradition Request of the USA merely discharged the applicant on the impugned credibility of the identification witnesses.
“That contrary to his depositions the two magistrates of both the Metropolitan and Bow Street found as of fact that extraditable offences have been committed to justify the extradition of the applicant.”
NDLEA urged the Federal High Court to dismiss the fresh suit instituted by Kashamu on the ground that it constituted gross abuse of court process with falsification of facts in the judgments by London and American Courts.
Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed has however fixed hearing in the fresh suit for November 20.
The Federal High Court had in 2015 in two separate judgments barred the Federal Government from extraditing Kashamu.
The two judgments were however on May 4 this year quashed and set aside by the Court of Appeal on the ground that they were based on hearsay evidence and suppression of facts by Kashamu.
The Senator has since approached the Supreme Court to challenge the decision of the Court of Appeal which cleared the coast for the Federal Government to extradite him to the USA.

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