Legal Nigeria

Court Affirms Judgment Against Kashamu’s Extradition

A Federal High Court in Lagos Tuesday reiterated the validity of a judgment of the court restraining any extradition process against Senator representing Ogun East senatorial district, Buruji Kashamu.
In a judgment on a contempt application filed by Kashamu against the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Chairman of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ahmadu Giade, Justice Ibrahim Buba held that for the avoidance of doubt, it must be stated that an order made by another judge of the court, Justice Okon Abang “is still subsisting and must be complied with until set aside by a superior court.”

Justice Buba, who earlier dismissed a preliminary objection filed by the NDLEA, said from the processes before him, he was satisfied that the defendants were properly served.
The judge then went on to determine the merit of the contempt application, and held that since Justice Abang had previously ruled on a similar case, the instant suit had merely become an academic exercise and unneccesary.
The judge, however, warned the AGF and the NDLEA Chairman to be of good conduct and obey the subsisting order of court.
“There should be no overzealous conduct from either of the parties. Government agencies must abide by the rule of law to avoid anarchy.
“They (AGF and NDLEA Chairman) should be of good behaviour until their appeal is determined
“No matter how aggrieved, they should abide by the order of court until there is a counter order from a superior court.
“For the avoidance of doubt, orders of Justice Abang are still subsisting and must be complied with,” Justice Buba held.
In the committal application, Kashamu had asked the court to declare that both AGF and NDLEA Chairman were in contempt of the court by reasons of steps taken, in obstruction of the administration of justice evidenced by the willful violation of the judgment of the court of January 6, 2014, in suit number FHC/L/CS/49/2014 and in order to pre-empt the judgment of the court in suit number FHC/L/CS/508/2015.
He also asked the court to declare that the invasion, destruction of properties, harassment, humiliation, arrest, and his detention by NDLEA at the instance of AGF from Saturday, May 23, 2015, and any extradition proceeding commenced thereupon undermined the integrity of the judicial process invoked in suit number FHC/L/CS/49/2010 and FHC/L/CS/508/2015.
Kashamu further sought an order nullifying every steps taken by both the AGF and NDLEA against him from May 23, 2015, including his arrest, detention, arraignment, proceeding whether for extradition or otherwise in pursuance of any request by the US government for his extradition on the basis of allegations forming the subject of the judgment of the court in suit number FHC/L/CS/49/2010 and proceeding in suit number FHC/L/CS/508/2015.
According to the previous matter, Justice Abang had nullified the provisional warrant of arrest secured by the NDLEA against Kashamu before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Justice Abang also declared that until the judgment of the court against extradition was appealed against and set aside by the Court of Appeal, no extradition proceedings could commence against Kashamu.
The judge further held that the provisional warrant of arrest was obtained for want of jurisdiction in the sense that the judge’s attention was not drawn to the existing order barring NDLEA and the AGF from taking any further steps on the extradition process.
The court further declared the  proceedings before the Abuja Court as a nullity.
Credit : ThisDay