The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Monday asked a Federal High Court, Lagos, to dismiss a fundamental rights enforcement suit, filed by Senator Buruji Kashamu, seeking to stop security agencies from extraditing him to the United States of America (USA), over drug-related offences.
Tribune Online recalls that Kashamu, a Senator representing Ogun East at the National Assembly, in a suit had dragged the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Commissioner of Police Lagos State, NDLEA and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) before the court seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining all the respondents from arresting or detaining him in any matter whatsoever.
Kashamu claimed that it interfered with his personal liberty and freedom of movement.
Kashamu also urged the court for a declaration that the instructions given by the AGF to other respondents on May 25, 2018, in reaction to his letter dated May 23, 2018, wherein he protested the NDLEA’s invitation to the USA to send a request for his extradition to the US, and the attempt and any further attempts by the first to fourth respondents to arrest him on the basis of the AGF’s said instructions are breach of his fundamental rights to personal liberty and freedom of as guaranteed by Section 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and article 14 of the African Charter on human and people of Nigeria.
However, NDLEA in a notice of preliminary objection filed by its lawyers, J. N. Sunday and Ichakpa Oigoga, urged the court to dismiss Kashamu’s suit for being incompetent, as it failed to disclose any infringement of his right.
NDLEA in an affidavit in support of the preliminary objection deposed to by one of its litigation/exhibit officers, Kareem Olayinka, stated that authorities in the USA are currently seeking to have Kashamu extradited to their country to answer charges relating to the trafficking in heroin. And that the USA government had made the request sometimes in May 2015.
The deponent also stated that since the applicant got wind of the extradition request he filed multiplicity of lawsuits relating to the issue.
Among the suits filed by the include: suit numbers FHC/L/CS/508/14, FHC/L/CS 508/2015, FHC/L/CS/763/2015 and FHC/L/CS/479/2015, before Justice O. E. Abang, Justice Nasir Ibrahim Buba and Justice G. O. Kolawole.
He urged the court to dismiss Kashamu’s suit as it failed to disclose any cause of action against AGF, for violation of his rights and that the multiplicity of actions continuously filed and maintained by the applicant against NDLEA is intended to annoy and divert its energy and attention from discharging its mandate to the nation.
He also stated that it is apparent that Kashamu is only engaged in shopping for a forum that will grant his desired relief by the multiplicity of his actions.
At the resumed hearing of the matter on Monday, Kashamu’s lawyer, Mrs. Ifeoma Esom told the court that the matter is slated for hearing of her client’s motion on notice and NDLEA’s preliminary objection to the motion.
However, NDLEA lawyer, Mr J. N. Sunday, told the court that though he is ready to proceed with the hearing of the applications but the fifth respondent, the AGF, whom the whole suit revolved round, is yet to file any application in the suit.
Also, counsel to the DSS, M. O. Fajela, told the court that his client was just dragged into the matter, as the suit has been on since 2015.
The presiding judge, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, observed that the first, second and fifth respondents, that is the IGP, CP, Lagos and AGF, were not represented by any lawyer due to non-issuance of hearing notice on them.
Justice Aneke consequently ordered that the hearing notice be issued and served on them, while adjourned the matter till March 5, for hearing of Kashamu’s motion on notice and NDLEA’s preliminary objection.