US judgment confusing, says Kashamu

US judgment confusing, says Kashamu

Senator Buruji Kashamu, representing Ogun East senatorial district, said it was most unfortunate that ”some mischievous elements” are seeking to turn a suit he filed in the United States of America to stop his abduction and “forcibly transportation” to face trial for drug offences in the country.

He said that two British courts had adjudicated upon the case and found that it was a case of mistaken identity.

Reports on Thursday said the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an earlier ruling that he could be repatriated to the United States for trial on the offence for which he was indicted in a heroin case alongside convicted money launderer turned “Orange Is the New Black” writer Piper Kerman in 1998.

Kashamu had sued the Department of Justice in 2015 to convince the appellate court to stop U.S. law enforcement from carrying out what he alleged was an imminent plan by U.S Drug Enforcement Administration to team up with his political rivals and “abduct” him in Nigeria.

U.S Drug Enforcement Administration agents teamed up with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, to lay siege to Kashamu’s Lagos home for six days in a 2015 abduction attempt, before a court ordered them to leave.

But while rejecting Kashamu’s application, the U.S. Appellate Court Judge Richard Posner on Monday wrote that nothing in the law prevents U.S. agents from “being present when foreign officers are effecting an arrest or from assisting foreign officers who are effecting an arrest.”

Kashamu, who is the basis for the character Kubra Balik in the Netflix show, has always insisted that U.S. prosecutors confused him with his dead brother.

He previously frustrated attempts to extradite him from Britain.

A dozen people long ago pleaded guilty in the case including American Piper Kerman, whose memoir was adapted for the Netflix hit “Orange Is The New Black.” Kerman’s book never identified Kashamu by name, only citing a West African drug kingpin.

In his statement late Thursday, Buruji said the report misstated the facts.

“I asked my lawyers in the US 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 US officials and their local collaborators out of my Lagos residence.

“It should be noted that there is no ANY 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 US 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 US 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.”

NAN

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