Appeal Court Reserves Judgment On Kashamu’s Extradition Suit

Appeal Court Reserves Judgment On Kashamu’s Extradition Suit

The Lagos Division of the Appeal Court on Thursday reserved judgment in the appeal filed by the federal government of Nigeria against the orders of the Federal High Court barring security agencies in the country from arresting and commencing extradition proceedings against Buruji Kashamu

Two judges of the lower court, Justice Okon Abang and Justice Ibrahim Buba had in 2015 in separate rulings nullified the provisional warrant of arrest obtained by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) against the Senator representing Ogun-East.

The judges had also restrained the NDLEA from arresting and arraigning Kashamu in furtherance of the extraditing him to the United States of America to face drug related offences.

The federal government was seeking the extradition of the Senator to the United States of America (USA) to answer criminal charges on drug-related offences.

At the hearing of the Appeal on Thursday, the three-man panel of the upper court led by Justice Joseph Ikhegh, reserved judgment, after parties in the matter argued and adopted their written addressees.

While moving his brief, the counsel to the federal government, Emeka Ngige (SAN), informed the court that the issues raised by the respondent (Kashamu), in his preliminary objection contained ‘hearsay evidence’.

Ngige also told the court that he had responded to the preliminary objection filed by Kashamu in a brief dated January 24, 2018, and urged the court to dismiss the preliminary objection.

According to him, the rulings of the Federal High Court placed on hold the planned extradition through a restraining order; on the ground that due process of law was not followed.

The AGF while urging the appellant court to set aside the judgment of the two justices of the lower court on the ground of miscarriage of justice, contended that Kashamu suppressed facts before the lower court to secure the restraining order against his extradition.

The senior lawyer further maintained that the two judges erred in law by issuing order in favour of the senator without evaluating the documentary evidence placed before them during the hearing.

AGF prayed the appellate court to void and set aside the two judgments.

And allow the appeal filed by the Federal government.

In urging the court to dismiss the appeal, Kashamu’s lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), told the court that the preliminary objection is dated and filed November 7, 2017.

Kashamu’s lawyers told the court that the submission made by appellant is not applicable to the facts before the court and that they are two different facts, words to words.

Fagbemi (SAN) therefore urged the court to dismiss the AGF’s appeal against his client.

The return of parties to the appellate court followed the withdrawal of all motions filed by Kashamu at Federal High Court in Abuja.

The court is expected to determine the merit of the issues raised by the Federal Government and the defence by the senator.

Kashamu had alleged that no court order was obtained before the move to extradite him was executed.

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