Ogun-East Senator-elect, Prince Buruji Kashamu, has asked the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, to intervene in his planned extradition to the United States of America, USA, from Nigeria to face trial for drug-related offences.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that a Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed May 27, 2015 to decide on the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by Kashamu, seeking protection against the alleged plot to extradite him to the US.
Kashamu, in the said suit, accused the Inspector-General of Police, IGP and 11 others of plotting to abduct and forcibly transport him to the US to face trial on alleged drug-related offences.
He alleged that he had uncovered plans by the defendants doing the bidding of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to arrest him during his swearing in as a senator and to transport him to the US in a private plane to face trial before Judge Norgle.
He therefore prayed the court to declare the alleged abduction and extradition plot as an infringement on his fundamental human rights to liberty, freedom of association and freedom of movement as protected by sections 35, 40 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Kashamu who is fighting on all fronts, in a petition dated April 15, 2015 to the NHRC, prayed for its intervention, stating that the plot to forcibly extradite him to the US was leaked to his lawyer, Ajibola Oluyede, by another lawyer (name withheld) who was a friend of the Minister of Justice, BelloAdoke while on a flight from Lagos to Abuja.
According to Oluyede, who signed the petition on behalf of Kashamu, Adoke’s friend witnessed an occasion when Obasanjo, mounted pressure on the minister to extradite the senator-elect to the US.
The petition read in part: “On a flight to the federal capital, Abuja from Lagos sometime in October 2014 a colleague and friend of our principal partner, R. A. Oluyede, SAN, who is also very close to the AGF, informed Mr. Oluyede of the tremendous pressure that Chief (Olusegun) Obasanjo was bringing upon the AGF for the extradition of Prince Kashamu and that, in one discussion between the AGF and Chief Obasanjo, witnessed by him (the SAN), Chief Obasanjo had boasted that he was making arrangements with some US officials in the region to have Prince Kashamu abducted and flown, in a private plane, to the US.
“He advised that Mr. Oluyede tells Prince Kashamu, known widely to be his client, to be very careful. Prince Kashamu’s enquiry about this information revealed that indeed, there had been moves made by US officials within the region, to secure the assistance of the head of the INTERPOL division in Nigeria, Mr. Solomon Arase, a Deputy Inspector General of Police now IGP, for the arrest and delivery to the US officials of Kashamu for transportation to the US without following the due process required by the Nigeria Extradition Act.”
Meanwhile, a group, African Civil Liberty Committee on Rendition has described the alleged plans by the US to abduct Kashamu as a threat to Nigeria’s sovereignty.
The group, in statement signed by the organisation’s Country Director, Mr. Sunday Philips yesterday in Abuja, described the plot as an undermining the nation’s sovereignty.
It said the attempt was a direct affront on the Nigerian judiciary system, which “has enough mechanism to take care of all infringement committed on or outside Nigerian shores and should be seen in its autonomous powers.”
Mr. Philip noted that the organisation’s decision to oppose the abduction attempt should not be seen as an obstruction of justice but a move to ensure that international conventions are respected, describing the plan as rendition.