Story by Gbenga Ogunbufunmi
The scheduled hearing of a suit filed by the Senator representing Ogun East at the National Assembly, Kashamu Buruji, seeking to restrain security agencies in the country from extraditing him to United State of America (USA) to answer alleged drug charges was today stalled at the Federal High Court, Lagos, due to improper service by Kashamu’s lawyer on other parties to the suit.
Kashamu in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/930/18, has asked the Federal High Court, Lagos, to restrain the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Department of State Security (DSS), National Drug Laws Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining all the respondents from arresting or detaining him in any manner whatsoever interfering with his personal liberty and freedom of movement on the basis of his lawyer letter dated May 23, 2018, wherein he protested the NDLEA’s invitation to USA to send a request for his extradition.
The Senator had 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 US, and the attempt and any further attempts by the first to fourth respondents to arrest him on the basis of the AGF’s instructions are breach of his fundamental rights to personal liberty and freedom 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 peoples Right..
However, one of the respondents, NDLEA in its preliminary objection filed before the court by it’s Legal Officers, J. N. Sunday and Ichakpa Oigoga, had urged the court to dismiss Kashamu’s suit for being incompetent, as it failed to disclosed any infringement of his right and for being an abuse of court processes.
NDLEA in an affidavit in support of the preliminary objection deposed to by one of its litigation/exhibit officers, Kareem Olayinka, stated that the authority of 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 states that since the applicant got wind of the extradition request he has filed multiplicities of law suits relating to the issue.
Among the suits filed by the applicat 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. Adding that the AGF successful prosecution of the appeal against the judgment of Justice O. E. Abang in both substantive and contempt case and obtained judgments setting aside the decisions of the lower court in appeal numbers CA/L/1030/2015 and CA/L/1030A/205.
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 forum that will grant his desire relief by his multiplicity of his actions.
At the resumed hearing of the matter today, while counsel to all parties informed the court of their readiness to proceed with the hearing of the suit, the DSS lawyer, M. O. Bajela, informed the court that Kashamu’s lawyers has not complied with the court’s directive that ordered them to serve the hearing notice on all parties.
Bajela informed the court that the AGF, who is vital to the suit was not represented.
However, upon perusal of the court’s file, it was discovered that the hearing notice which was meant for AGF was served on DSS which Bajela signed for.
The situation which Kashamu’s lawyer, Mobolaji Akintunde described as unfortunate.
“I’m so surprised that the court’s bailiff copied out wrong address. Its quit unfortunate”, Akintunde said.
Consequently, Kashamu’s lawyer, Akintunde pleaded the court for adjournment, to enable them ensure proper serve of the AGF.
Justice Aneke consequently ordered that hearing notice be issued and served on the AGF, while adjourning the matter till March 8, for hearing of Kashamu’s motion on notice and NDLEA’s preliminary objection.