Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Extradition: Sen Kashamu accuses Malami of plot to abduct him to US, heads to Supreme Court

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Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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Buriji Kashamu, the Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial has filed two notices of appeal at the Supreme Court seeking to set aside the Court of Appeal judgment, just as the Senator accused the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami of plot to abduct and transport him to the United States to face trial.

Mr Kashamu, through his counsels, averred that the Court of Appeal erred in dismissing his objections.

“The lower court misdirected itself when it held that the appellant has not made out a case of breach or likelihood of a breach of his fundamental rights,” Mr Kashamu said.

Mr Kashamu in a statement on Monday said the Court of Appeal judgment was deliberately given wrong interpretations by his detractors.

“It is unfortunate that these persons have chosen to channel their energies towards blackmailing the AGF to punish an innocent citizen and achieve a personal vendetta against someone who is seen as their political foe.

“Their pursuit is of interest to them even when all right-thinking members of the society know that I have a right of appeal against the judgment, which right I have immediately exercised,” Kashamu said.

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He urged the AGF not to allow his office to be used to punish an innocent Nigerian.

“His office should not be used to punish and unjustly persecute an innocent and patriotic Nigerian, in a bid to satisfy the desire of some political opponents or external forces whose interest is to seek and gain political advantage. To do that will be tantamount to unjustly prosecuting another man’s battle either directly or indirectly.

“The facts of the case speak for itself. I can no longer be the subject of any extradition case when I had on two occasions faced extradition proceedings in a foreign land and I was exonerated and freed to go home.

“The Government of the United Kingdom has testified through the British High Commission in a letter dated 27th of April, 2015 and addressed to former Inspector-General of Police Solomon Arase that I was freed from extradition proceedings in their country between 1998 and 2003.

“I am however surprised at the efforts to blackmail the AGF to entrench the persecution of the last administration and legalise their illegality.

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“If the AGF should painstakingly study the files with him, he would realise that there are better things to expend public funds on that engaging private lawyers to pursue a failed course, which only seeks to satisfy my political foes that have no goodwill in the society.

“The two British courts gave judgments in my favour after taking oral and documentary evidence from agents of the United States Government and the Federal Government of Nigeria, including top officials of the NDLEA who were summoned by the British courts.

“The NDLEA, in particular, gave positive evidence that I was not the person involved in the alleged crime and they have given some evidence here in Nigeria. So, why the sudden change?

“The statement and evidence given by witnesses who are high-ranking officials of the NDLEA in the British courts represent the position of the Nigerian Government in that case, including the Office of the AGF,” Mr Kashamu said.

The Senator said the Court of Appeal’s decision was contrary to the constitutional provision that an appeal against an interlocutory decision must be filed within 14 days of the decision appealed against, which he said the AGF failed to comply with.

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He urged the Supreme Court to hold that the Court of Appeal’s decision was contrary to the principle that leave of court must be sought and obtained before appealing in respect of fresh issues that were not canvassed before the trial court.

Nigerian Tribune recalls that last week, the Appeal Court in Lagos in two consolidated judgments, upheld the government’s argument and upturned the lower court’s orders on the issue of extradition.

“The preliminary objection filed by the appellant against the substantive appeals is dismissed as lacking in merits.

“The appeal filed by the AGF against the ruling of the lower court is not statute barred.

“The oral statement of the threat of abduction and forcibly transporting Senator BURUJI KASHAMU to the US is insufficient having not been backed by concrete evidence,” the court ruled

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