US Extradition: Nigerian Govt, Kashamu In Final Legal Battle

The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) and Buruji Kashamu, will on December 5 at the Supreme Court engage in a final legal battle aimed at extraditing the former Senator, to the United States of America (USA) for trial in an alleged hard drug trafficking offence.

Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) are the major respondents in the appeals by Kashamu seeking to stop government from executing two Appeal Court judgments granted against him.

The hearing date has been communicated to parties involved in the long drawn legal tussle through issuance of hearing notice.

The apex court is to review the two judgments delivered in favour of the Federal Government by the Lagos division of the Court of Appeal on May 4 last year.

Kashamu had, in his notice of appeal to Supreme Court, complained that the Court of Appeal erred in law by voiding and setting aside the two judgments of the Federal High court which barred the FGN from extraditing him to America.

He is praying the apex court to set aside the decisions of the Court of Appeal as they affected him.

But government through the AGF has joined issues with him with a counter prayer that the Supreme Court should uphold the judgments of the Court of Appeal which cleared coast for his extradition.

The AGF claimed that the Appeal Court was right in setting aside two judgments of the High Court because they were based on hearsay evidence of Kashamu before the court.

The AGF urged the Supreme Court to allow the judgments of the Court of Appeal to enable the Federal government extradite the Senator to USA to prove his innocence or otherwise in the hard drug trafficking criminal charge filed against him by the American government since 2015 when he was alleged to have escaped to Nigeria.

Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, is leading the legal team of the Senator while Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN, is leading the Nigeria government legal team at the Apex Court.

The Court of Appeal had on May 4 2018 cleared the coast for the federal government to extradite Kashamu who had engaged government in a long drawn legal battle since 2014.

The appellate court in the two separate judgments voided and set aside all orders made by a Federal High Court between 2014 and 2017 restraining the government from proceeding with the extradition.

Justice Joseph Ikyeghi in the judgments marked CA/L/1030/15 and CA/L/1030A/15 in the appeal filed by the AGF held that the orders granted in favour of Kashamu by Justice Okon Abang were invalid and unknown to laws because they were based on hearsays and speculations by Senator Kashamu.

The court held that the hearsay that a former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was instigating the extradition was not established under any law.

The appeal court said that an affidavit deposed to by Kashamu on the issue was worthless and not in compliance with Evidence Act because the senator himself claimed that he was told by several persons who were not called to testify in court.

Justice Ikyeghi held that Justice Abang in his two judgments on the issue erred in law by playing undue reliance on affidavit that contravened Evidence Act to give judgment against the FGN. Consequently, the order of injunction stopping the extraction process was voided and set aside.

He had agreed that a statutory body like the NDLEA can only be prohibited from performing its statutory functions based on facts and not hearsays and speculations as in the instant case.

US Extradition: Nigerian Govt, Kashamu In Final Legal Battle US Extradition: Nigerian Govt, Kashamu In Final Legal Battle Reviewed by JNJ GLOBAL GIST on November 24, 2019 Rating: 5

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