Big Trouble for Kashamu

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Buruji Kashamu

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Buruji Kashamu, a senator-elect for Ogun-East, Ogun State remains embattled, but there are indications that he may not be able to hold out for long as the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency puts him on house arrest, pending the time it receives a warrant of arrest

BURUJI Kashamu, senator-elect representing Ogun-East senatorial district, is embattled. The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, officials who surrounded his Lekki residence since Saturday, May 23, said the agency would get a court warrant of arrest before taking him to a federal high court to defend himself.

The NDLEA said its decision was based on a formal request for his extradition by the United States. Ofoyeju Mitchell, head, Public Affairs of the NDLEA, in a statement, on Sunday, May 24, advised Kashamu to reserve his energy for his defence at the hearing of the extradition application in the law court instead of pointing accusing fingers on former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Bode George, a national leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as being behind his problems.

The NDLEA noted that Kashamu had been on the wanted list of both the US Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the Department of Homeland Security.

The statement said in part: “Kashamu was indicted in the Northern District of Illinois, United States, on charges brought against him by ICE.

“According to the United States court documents, Kashamu in his days as the leader of a prolific heroin-trafficking ring based in Chicago, Illinois, was known as ‘god,’ ‘Daddy, and ‘Kasmal.’ He is wanted to stand trial for charges of conspiracy and importation of controlled substances, namely heroin, into the United States dating back to 1994. Kashamu, who holds dual Nigerian/Beninoise citizenship, has taken multiple pre-emptive actions to thwart US extradition efforts such as claiming that he was being mistaken for his deceased brother whom he claimed committed the alleged offences in the US.”

The statement also said that Kashamu had filed injunctions at courts in the Northern District of Illinois, United States, and in Nigeria to prevent his arrest and prosecution.

According to sources, officials of the NDLEA were able to gain access into the residence of the embattled politician, where he has been confined to his bedroom since Saturday.

Ajibola Oluyede, his counsel who confirmed this, said his client had not been allowed to leave his bedroom ever since. Oluyede said, “He has been locked inside the room while about 15 armed operatives are in the house. As I speak to you, I have not even seen him. We have only been talking through the door. This is disheartening because his little children and his pregnant wife are all in the house with him.”

Austin Oniyokor, his media aide, berated the NDLEA for being the mouthpiece of Obasanjo and George. He said in a statement: “We are addressing our issues. We had told the court of the planned abduction of Kashamu and the NDLEA was represented. The court had given an order asking all the parties to stay action, pending the determination of the suit which had been fixed for Wednesday.”

Oniyokor said that Kashamu refused to surrender to the NDLEA officials, who stormed his Lagos residence on Ladipo Street, Lekki Phase 1, on Saturday, because they could not produce a warrant of arrest.

Kashamu, chairman, Organisation and Mobilisation Committee of the PDP in the South-West and a staunch supporter of President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election bid after he fell out with Obasanjo.

— May 25, 2015 @ 13: 23 GMT

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