A United States (U.S.) Appeals Court has dismissed Senator Buruji Kashamu’s complaint that U.S. agents’ attempt to arrest him in collaboration with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) would constitute “an attempted abduction”.
A report in Washington Post yesterday said the ruling was given on Monday by the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Kashamu, in April 2015, filed a suit asking a district court to prevent his “abduction abroad by U.S. authorities”.
Chicago prosecutors accused Kashamu of heading a heroin trafficking ring in the 1990s. The senator argues that prosecutors want his dead brother instead.
A dozen people long ago pleaded guilty in the case, including Piper Kerman, whose memoir was adapted for a Netflix hit show , “Orange is the New Black.”
Senator Buruji Kashamu
Kashamu, in a statement last night, said no fresh extradition proceedings could be brought against him.
His statement reads: “It is most unfortunate that some mischievous elements are seeking to twist a suit I filed in the United States of America to stop my abduction and forcible transportation to face trial for a case two British courts had adjudicated upon and found that it was a case of mistaken identity.
“I asked my lawyers in the U.S. to file the suit when I got wind of an evil plot to abduct me in 2015 which later happened between the 23rd and 28th of May, 2015, until there was a judicial intervention which ordered the U.S. officials and their local collaborators out of my Lagos residence.
“It should be noted that there is no extradition proceedings against me anywhere in the world. The last one they purportedly brought after the siege to my residence was dismissed by the Federal High Court, Abuja, on the 1st of July, 2015.
“So, the wicked interpretation that the latest ruling which was based on a suit I instituted against my abduction has set the tone for my extradition is totally unfounded, vexatious and malicious.
“Besides, I had faced two extradition proceedings in the United Kingdom at the instance of the United States and the British court found that it was a case of mistaken identity after four rigorous years of trial.
“The same U.S. Court of Appeals said, ‘Several months after the indictment came down, Kashamu showed up in England and was arrested at our government’s request. Justice Department lawyers, working with their English counterparts, sought his extradition to the United States to stand trial. There were two extradition proceedings, both unsuccessful, ending finally in January, 2003 when the Presiding Judge refused to order him extradited. He had been detained throughout the extradition proceedings. As soon as the judge ruled, Kashamu left England for Nigeria, where he remains.’
“Realistically, no fresh extradition proceedings can be brought against me. Twice, I won the extradition proceedings against me in London where I was tried at the instance of the U.S. government and the one they brought here has been dismissed by the court, hence the case is dead. Any other purported extradition proceedings or abduction is illegal. I am not afraid of anything because I know my rights under the law.”