The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has filed a preliminary objection to a suit by Sen. Buruji Kashamu, seeking to stop his extradition to the U.S. to face drug charges.
Mr Kashamu, Ogun East, had in the suit before a Federal High Court in Lagos and marked FHC/L/CS/930/2018, joined the Inspector-General of Police, IG, and Commissioner of Police, CP, Lagos State, as respondents in the case.
Also joined as respondents are the Director-General, Department of State Security, DSS, NDLEA and the attorney-general of the Federation.
He is urging the court to restrain the respondents and their agents from arresting or detaining him in any manner or interfering with his rights to personal liberty and freedom of movement.
In the notice of the preliminary objection, the NDLEA asked the court to declare Kashamu’s suit incompetent and dismiss it.
The agency said that the suit did not constitute any infringement on his rights.
The NDLEA also wants the court to declare the suit an abuse of court process.
Ifeoma Esom announced appearance for the applicant, Kashamu, on Monday, while Messrs M. O. Bajela and J. N Sunday respectively appeared for the third and fourth respondents, DSS D-G and NDLEA.
There was no legal representation for the first, second and fifth respondents.
Counsel to Mr Kashamu had told the court that the case was slated for hearing of the originating motion, as well as the respondent’s preliminary objection.
She said that she was ready to proceed with the objection.
The other counsel also said that they were ready to proceed.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke asked why the other respondents were not represented and whether they were served hearing notices.
Mr Aneke was informed that hearing notices were not given to them.
He consequently ordered that hearing notices should be issued to the first, second and fifth respondents (I-G, CP, Lagos State, and the attorney-general of the federation).
The judge adjourned the case until Feb. 5, for hearing.
In an affidavit in support of the preliminary objection, the NDLEA said that the U.S Government is seeking extradition of the applicant to answer charges relating to heroin trafficking.
The agency stated in the affidavit deposed to by its Litigation Officer, Kareem Olayinka, that the U.S. Government had requested from the Nigerian Government that the applicant be extradited in May 2015.
The agency claimed that since Kashamu knew about the request, he had filed multiple lawsuits relating to the issue, with the aim of diverting the agency’s attention from discharging its duties.
The NDLEA said that it needed the protection of the court to stop the trend.