Judge threatens to withdraw from Kashamu’s extradition - Collins Uchendu's Blog

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Thursday, 27 June 2019

Judge threatens to withdraw from Kashamu’s extradition

Kashamu

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday threatened to withdraw from an extradition suit brought before him by Sen. Buruji Kashamu.

The suit is seeking to stop the Federal Government form extraditing him to the U.S. to face trial in an alleged hard drugs offence.

Abang claimed to have given judgment in two suits in 2015, brought before him by Kashamu.

He threatened to opt out of the fresh suit, filed in 2018, if it is related to the same extradition matter.


The judge’s reaction followed an observation by counsel to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Joseph Sunday that the judge had in 2015, delivered two judgments on the same issue.

Sunday said that the two judgments of the high court had been set aside by the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, on grounds that the appeal on them had been filed at the Supreme Court.

The counsel commended the judge for raising the issue of propriety by him to adjudicate on the two fresh suits, filed by Kashamu in 2018.

He pleaded to the court to take notice that similar extradition matters by the plaintiff had been decided.

But Counsel to Kashamu Ifeoma Esson, insisted that her client’s fresh suit was not related to the issue that brought about the 2015 judgments.

Esson explained that the current suit was predicated on the unlawful invasion and siege laid on her client’s house for six days by operatives of the NDLEA.

Esson specifically told the court that her client was challenging the violation of his fundamental rights to dignity of person and freedom of movement.

She urged the court to go ahead with hearing of the new suits.

Kashamu had in the second suit marked FHC/ABJ/CF/530/2018, sued the Attorney General of the Federation and the NDLEA.

He prayed the court to prohibit the two respondents from extraditing him to the U.S. to face trial in the alleged hard drugs offence.

Kashamu applied for an order of the court to also stop the two respondents from giving effect to the extradition request by the U.S.

However, in a brief ruling, the judge adjourned hearing of the substantive matter till Sept. 30, on grounds that the court would go on annual vacation by July 8.

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