The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, at the weekend, said it has not abandoned moves to extradite a Peoples Democratic Party chieftain and senator, Prince Buruji Kashamu, to the United States for alleged drug-related offences.
The anti-narcotics agency said it is presently appealing the various orders and court injunctions granted the senator, which are preventing his arrest and extradition.
The NDLEA and Senator Kashamu have been at daggers drawn over plans to extradite him to the U.S to answer drug-related charges.
While Kashamu had maintained his innocence, claiming he is a victim of mistaken identity, the anti-narcotics agency insists the PDP chieftain is a fugitive from the law in the U.S having been indicted and an extradition request has been made to the NDLEA.
However, following a six-day siege laid on his Lekki residence by anti-narcotics operatives, the senator, through his lawyer, obtained an order in separate rulings from a Federal High Court in Lagos, against the NDLEA and any other agencies in the country, restraining them from unlawfully arresting and forcefully extraditing him to the U.S.
However, the Head of Public Affairs, NDLEA, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, said the agency had approached the courts to vacate all orders granted Kashamu.
Ofoyeju said, “He (Kashamu) went to court to seek several orders. We have appealed those orders. The matters have not been determined. We are in court”.
He pointed out that Kashamu had built several legal walls to prevent the agency from arresting him.
“For instance, the warrant of arrest we obtained from the court, he set it aside (through a court). Then, the suit the Attorney-General of the Federation filed; the motion for his extradition, he also went to court to set it aside. The AGF is appealing that order and we are appealing ours. The cases are already in court”, he said.
Ofoyeju said the NDLEA was not out to witch-hunt Kashamu, claiming that the agency was only acting on an extradition request it received from the American government.
He said, “We have the formal request from the United States,’ asking for his extradition. We have that and we went to obtain a warrant of arrest which he got an order to set aside. He got so many court orders; we are now appealing those orders to enable us to follow due process.
“We cannot use the legal process to impede his extradition process. If he says he believes in the rule of law, we are going to follow it up to a logical conclusion”.