By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Senator-elect for the Ogun East Senatorial District, Prince Buruji Kashamu, has accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of instigating foreign security agencies to apprehend him in Nigeria and extradite him to the United States of America, USA, to answer to drug-related charges.
Consequently, he has sent a Save-My-Soul, SMS, letter to the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, insisting that the subterranean plot to ‘capture’ him has thickened.
Kashamu begged the Commission not to stand by and watch his fundamental human rights trampled upon at the behest of former President Obasanjo.
It will be recalled that it was Kashamu that p ersuaded Justice Valentine Ashi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting at Apo to order security agencies in Nigeria to confiscate Obasanjo’s autobiography entitled “My Watch”.
It took the former President to get the high court to vacate that confiscation order which had even prohibited both Vendors and Libraries in the country from as much as touching the autobiography.
Kashamu had insisted that portions of the book dwelt on his alleged involvement in drug pushing and an allegation that he is a wanted fugitive in America, a subject matter he said had already been surrendered to a competent court of jurisdiction.
Meantime, in his petition to the NHRC, Kashamu urged the commission to investigate the alleged move to abduct him and forcibly take him to the US to answer to charges bothering on drug related offences.
The petition, dated April 15th, 2015 was written on his behalf by his lawyer, Mr Ajibode Oluyede and entitled: “Prince Buruji Kashamu: Abduction Plans By United States of America Agents in Collaboration with Law Enforcement Agencies in Nigeria.”
The lawyer in the petition which was addressed to the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Professor Bem Angwe, stated: “Kashamu has instructed that we bring certain important facts and records to your attention with regard to the illegality of this plan and the malicious and unpatriotic motives of those behind it and seek your urgent intervention in accordance with the jurisdiction expressly given to your commission by the National Human Rights Act 1995 as amended to carry out and inquiry into the matter in order to establish the culpability and compromise of certain institution in this despicable plan and to protect our client’s fundamental human right to liberty, life and dignity of the person.”
Kashamu told the Commission that regardless of several decisions both in Nigeria and the United Kingdom which exonerated him from the alleged offences, desperate politicians had been putting pressure on the Attorney General of the Federation to resuscitate the US indictment against him in Nigeria and to instigate an extradition process against him on the accusations.
He maintained that the current plan to abduct him was an admission by the US authorities that there is no case against him. He insisted that it is Obasanjo that is spreading a new witch-hunt net over him as a form of revenge against him for the comprehensive political defeat he (Obasanjo) suffered because of Kashamu in the PDP.
Kashamu told the commission that the pressure on the AGF failed, a situation he said was owing to the absence of any document showing that he was indicted in the US, nor any evidence that he was ever declared wanted both any authority in the US as required by the Extradition treaty in the US and the Nigerian Extradition law.
He said that several people close to the AGF had warned him to watch his back because there were moves to have him extradited to the US.
According to his lawyer, “Kashamu’s enquiry revealed that indeed there had been moves by US officials within the region to secure the assistance of the head of the INTERPOL division in Nigeria, Mr Solomon Arase, a Deputy Inspector General, for the arrest and delivery to the US officials of Kashamu for transportation to the US without following the due process required by the Nigeria Extradition Act.
Enforcement at the American Embassy route Des Almedies BP 49 Dakar Senegal and requested that INTERPOL Nigeria assist in the abduction of Kashamu for the purpose of his forcible transportation to the US to face trial before Judge Norgel”, he added.
It will equally be recalled that Fashamu’s suit before the FCT High court had culminated into a war-of-words between him and Obasanjo, with the plaintiff alleging before the court that the erstwhile President is a school drop out.Irked by the fact that Obasanjo had in his statement of defence to the suit described him as “a drug pusher with neither local or international reputation”, Kashamu, fired back, calling the ex-president “a social misfit”.
“The plaintiff acknowledges that the defendant (Obasanjo),was a poverty-stricken dropout from school and otherwise a social misfit who eventually found fame and fortune by joining the Armed Forces of Nigeria and benefitting disproportionately from opportunism of military adventure into governance in Nigeria”, Kashamu averred before the court.
He told the court that “Obasanjo’s vaunted international acclaim was tested in 2008 when the former President contested for the position of the Secretary-General of the United Nation with a barely known diplomat from Egypt.
“The defendant (Obasanjo) was put in his place as he failed to fly the flag of the nation successfully and lost the contest disgracefully.”
Kashamu further insisted that Obasanjo’s claims in his statement of defence constituted “an aggravation of the libel charge before the court”.
He said Obasanjo’s use of his “touted national and international acclaim to malign more productive members of the society is uncalled for and could be symptomatic of megalomania.”
On the other hand, the former President who had earlier resolved not to personally testify in the matter, in his statement of defence, described Kashamu as a notorious debtor and a man lacking in local and international reputation.
He urged the court to dismiss the suit for being “frivolous, speculative and gold digging”, adding that no reasonable cause of action was established against him.
Obasanjo in his statement of defence to the N20billion libel suit against him, stood his ground, saying he has no reason to retract the words in the said letter as requested by Kashamu.
“The statement/words are correct, true and justified”, he maintained, adding, “The plaintiff has no iota of good reputation locally and internationally.
“Aside the plaintiff’s illicit drug business for which he was indicted and wanted in America, the plaintiff has penchant for taking loans from unsuspecting banks/financial institutions with intention to permanently elude/avoid repayment or liquidation of such loans.
“Further to that, the plaintiff has been judicially adjudged/confirmed a debtor by a competent court of law Cotonou, Republic of Benin. And the plaintiff presently occupies a choice position on the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria’s list of notorious bad debtors.
“The plaintiff is a person, who with his true name/identity supplied, will not be grante d visa by the German government or any country of the world having good relationship with the United States of America”, Obasanjo added.