By Festus Ahon
Anti Corruption and Integrity Forum, has asked the Attorney General, United States Department of Justice, Washington to extradite Senator Buruji Kashamu to face alleged criminal offence preferred against him by the United States of America.
Chairman of the Anti Corruption body, Comrade Prince Kpokpogri in a statement in Asaba, Delta State, accused Kashamu of hiding under judicial cover to evade justice, alleging that Senator Kashamu was abusing court processes in a desperate bid to continue to run away from his alleged career crime in illicit drug peddling and fraud.
Kpogbogri in the statement said: “If the U.S. Department of Justice is willing to extradite Senator Buruji Kashamu, such request would be granted easily now since the Nigerian court has not thrown its weight to the UK Magistrate Court’s decision over the extradition of Mr Kashamu.
“Mr Kashamu was able to restrain the Nigerian Attorney General from executing an extradition request by the United States in a judgment cited in suit No: 49/2010 at the Federal High Court in Abuja but the matter is currently being appealed because it appears the judgment in suit No: 49/2010 was based on a UK Court ruling on the same matter and was probably misconstrued for an acquittal.
“However, it does not amount to acquittal as stated in section 4(a) (b) of the Extradition Act that ‘A fugitive criminal shall not be surrendered if the Attorney General or a court dealing with the case is satisfied that, whether in Nigeria or elsewhere, he (a) has been convicted on offence for which his surrender is sought; or (b) has been acquitted thereof, and that, in a case falling within paragraph (a) of this subsection, he is not unlawfully at large. But in the case of Mr Kashamu, a habeas corpus suit against the United States while seeking to extradite him from Nigeria would not apply since he has not been convicted or acquitted of an offence’.
“As you can see, the judgment was given based on the assumption that Mr Buruji Kashamu was acquitted by the London Court, however, facts say otherwise. It will interest you to know that Justice Joseph Ikyeghi in the judgments marked CA/L/1030/15 and CA/L/1030A/15 in the appeal filed by the Nigerian Attorney General held that the orders granted in favour of Mr Kashamu by Justice Okon Abang were invalid because they were based on hearsays and speculations by Mr Buruji Kashamu. Permit us to assert that this is a ripe opportunity for the US to institute an extradition request for Mr Buruji Kashamu”.