A FEDERAL High Court in Abuja has ordered the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) not to take any further steps in their alleged renewed plot to extradite Senator Buruji Kashamu to the United States (U.S.).
Justice Babatunde Quadri gave the order yesterday while ruling on an ex-parte application filed by Kashamu, which was argued by his lawyer, J. O. Odubela (SAN).
Justice Quadri particularly ordered parties to maintain status quo pending the determination of the substantive suit filed by Kashamu.
The judge also granted the applicant leave to serve processes in relation to the suit, including the originating summons on NDLEA outside the jurisdiction of the court at 4 Shaw Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.
He said the applicant has been able to establish that, if the court did not intervene and protect him, by restraining the defendants from abducting, arresting or detaining him with the intention to extradite him, his rights would have been breached before the hearing of his substantive suit.
Odubela added: “We have showed that the applicant had even been tried in England and exonerated. Our contention is whether, in view of the judgment of the court in England, the Federal Government or any of its agencies can still request the U.S. to file a fresh request for the extradition of the applicant.”
Upon enquiry from the court, Odubela said the Court of Appeal gave judgment on May 4 this year and reversed the judgment by the Federal High Court, Lagos, prohibiting Kashamu’s extradition.
He said the Court of Appeal, in reversing the judgement, noted that there was no evidence that the AGF and NDLEA were taking steps to effect his extradition as at when the judgment was given.
Odubela added: “We have also appealed to the Supreme Court and filed a motion for injunction. Despite that, they (the defendants) have gone ahead to tell the U.S. government that the case on the matter is over and that they can make fresh request for his extradition.”
Odubela tendered a certified true copy of Punch newspaper of May 13, where it was reported that Federal Government has demanded for fresh U.S. request for the applicant’s extradition.
He added that two days after the judgment of the Appeal Court, an official of the NDLEA, Shehu Abubakar, told his client that plans were at advance stage to have him arrested and taken to the U.S. within a week.
Justice Quadri ordered parties to maintain status quo pending the determination of the substantive suit in line with the doctrine of lis pendens.
He adjourned to September 24 for the hearing of the substantive suit.