Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday directed the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, and Ogun State Senator-elect, Buruji Kashamu, to maintain status quo on the move to extradite the former to the United States for drug-related offences.
The court adjourned the hearing of all the applications arising from alleged attempt to extradite Kashamu till June 19.
Kashamu had filed a contempt proceeding against the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Mohammed Adoke, SAN and the NDLEA Chairman, Ahmadu Glade, for their failure to obey two court orders restraining them from extraditing him to the US over alleged drug offences.
In the application, it was argued that the AGF and the NDLEA chairman had through their actions, violated the existing court order which barred them from taking steps at arresting him for extradition to the US.
The hearing of the application was however stalled yesterday due to the disclosure by the NDLEA lawyer, Joseph Sunday, that the agency was never served with the suit’s originating processes.
According to him, it was only the court order of May 26, 2015 that was served on the NDLEA.
The judge had then ordered the NDLEA operatives to vacate Kashamu’s residence. Justice Buba also directed that the Nigerian Police Force, NPF, must be notified of the pending contempt proceedings before the court and that the order must be published by the applicant in a national daily.
However, Sunday, a director of Prosecution and Legal Services, while addressing the court, said the agency was challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit and had filed a motion seeking to set aside the order.
Earlier, Kashamu’s lawyer, Ajibola Oluyede, urged the court to make additional orders to bring sanity to the operations of the respondents.
According to him, the motion filed by the NDLEA is of no relevance as it had been overtaken by events.
He then urged the court to declare the fresh move by the respondents to commence extradition proceedings against the applicant in the light of the existing judgment of the court restraining them from doing so as illegal.
Oluyede also urged the court to nullify any warrant of arrest that might have been obtained through any source from anywhere in an attempt to extradite his client.
He further sought for an order directing the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, to provide police security to protect the applicant from any attempt on his life.
In his ruling, Justice Buba refused to make additional orders requested by Kashamu but ordered that nothing should be done by parties to undermine the processes before the court.
He said the court would have to adjourn the matter to allow all parties to be served with the necessary court’s processes.
“The matter before the court is that of committal and challenge of jurisdiction. I shall adjourn for the hearing of the applications on their merits,” the judge held.
He subsequently adjourned the matter till June 19 for the hearing of all pending applications.