Lateef Fagbemi, Dr Alex Iziyon and Akin Olujinmi, all three Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, have described as illegal, efforts by the United States security agents in collusion with officers of the National Drug Law Agency, NDLEA, to forcibly arrest, remove, abduct and smuggle Senator Buruji Kashamu to the United States of America.
In a signed joint statement, the SANs say,
“It is now a matter of common knowledge that for over a period of about six years, our client has been involved in a running battle with the NDLEA and the former Attorney General of the Federation under the last administration who at the instigation of the political enemies of the Senator had in 2010 initiated plans to commence proceedings to extradite our client to the US on the allegation that he was involved in the importation of narcotic drugs into the United States in the 1980s.
‘Before 2010 when the former Attorney General launched out on his campaign against our client, the US Government had instituted two separate proceedings in UK for the extradition of our client to the US in 2000 and 2003 but the US lost the two cases.
“In the 2003 proceedings, the English Court in London again while dismissing the second extradition proceedings initiated by the US, held, among other things, as follows:
“certain of the assertions made by the government are untrue ……I am satisfied that the overwhelming evidence here is such that the identification evidence, already tenuous, has now been so undermined as to make it incredible and valueless. In those circumstances there is no prima facie case against the defendant and I propose to discharge him.”
“The judgments therefore, remain binding against the US and Nigeria for ever. Rather than appeal against those judgments, what the US did next was to latch on to the conducive atmosphere in Nigeria brewed by the political enemies of our client, who even though aware that the US had lost out twice in UK courts against our client, mounted unholy pressure on the former Attorney General to commence extradition proceedings against our client.
“He was therefore forced to approach the courts in Nigeria for redress. Just as the English courts had ruled in his favour, four different courts in four different suits in Lagos and Abuja found in favour of the Senator. In one of the judgments, the court held as follows:
“in the light of subsisting judgments of this court in Suit No. FHC/LC/49/2010 delivered on the 6th January, 2014 and in the light of subsisting judgment in Suit No. FHC/LC/508/2015 delivered on 27th May, 2015 ……….. the respondents have no authority, vires or justification to interfere with the Applicant’s fundamental right to own property in Nigeria ……. wherever they may be located within Nigeria or anywhere else in the world on the basis of the false allegation by the United States government or any other person or authority of his complicity in the unlawful importation of narcotic substances into the United States of America in respect of which the Applicant has been exonerated by two courts in the United Kingdom ….”
“The US court of appeal did not purport to and cannot overrule the decision of any Nigerian court which must be obeyed, except set aside by a higher court in Nigeria. The law of the US cannot be pleaded in justification of a deliberate breach by a US agent of the orders of the courts of Nigeria. .”