Thursday, June 18, 2015

UK Writes IGP Arase Over Kashamu’s Extradition

Fresh facts have emerged in the case of extradition between Ogun State senator, Prince Buruji Kashamu and the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) as the United Kingdom government has expressed its own findings through a letter it recently wrote to Nigeria’s inspector general of police, Mr. Solomon Arase.
The NDLEA had last month invaded the Lekki home of Senator Buruji Kashamu, wanting to extradite him to the United States of America in order to face drug offences in the US District Court in Chicago, Illinois being presided over by Judge Richard Charles Norgle.
However, after placing Kashamu under house arrest for about five days, Justice Buba ordered the NDLEA officials to vacate his house. He also ruled that the drug agency’s boss should appear before him immediately to explain why the agency violated an earlier order which said that all parties involved in the case should not take any action until the court says so.

Explaining its own findings to IGP Solomon Arase through the British High Commission in Abuja in a letter dated April 27, 2015, the UK government said that it is no longer interested in any matter concerning Kashamu, having discharged him in 2003.
The letter which was signed by Mr. Robert Hunter, a Police Advisor of the High Commission in Abuja and addressed to ‘Solomon Arase, Inspector General of Police, Force CID Headquarters, Garki Area 10’ also disclosed that the accused person is not wanted in connection with any other offences within the UK jurisdiction.
The letter, a copy of which was exclusively obtained by our correspondent through a dependable source at the UK Home Affairs in London, also disclosed that the British Magistrate who freed Kashamu in 2003 did so when he was not satisfied that there was a case for him to answer.
The letter added that this was why the United Kingdom authorities had decided to cancel the extradition request they received from the United States Justice Department.
“I understand that the US authorities are seeking his extradition but can confirm that we have no current interest in this matter and he is not wanted in connection with any other offences within our jurisdiction”, Robert Hunter said in the letter.
In a related development, our correspondent also gathered that the International Police (INTERPOL) had earlier cancelled the arrest warrant it imposed against Buruji Kashamu immediately it discovered that the US authorities had at the end of August, 2008 withdrawn their own Search Warrant.
But the US is insisting that Kashamu is the same person as Adewale Kashamu wanted by its security agents in connection with the trafficking of heroine into America for several years up till 1994. The NDLEA had also said that the US had sent a request to extradite him to face the charges.

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