Drug Trafficking: US Court Okays Kashamu’s Extradition

Buruji Kashamu

A United States Appeal Court has upheld a ruling mandating Senator Buruji Kashamu to face drug trafficking trial.

The implication of the ruling means that Kashamu can be extradited from Nigeria to the US to answer to the charges levelled against him.

Kashamu, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) represents Ogun East Senatorial district in the Senate, was alleged to have been the ring-leader of a ’90s heroin cartel in Chicago, United States.

Kashamu had, in April 2015, asked a district court to put on hold what he described as an order for his abduction by the US authorities.

In its recent ruling, the Appeal Court dismissed his suit, and upheld the ruling of the lower court.

The court had stated that the attempt by US agents to arrest Kashamu in coordination with Nigerian authorities cannot be termed “an attempted abduction”.

Although several persons indicted in the case had pleaded guilty, Kashamu maintained it was a case of mistaken identity as his dead brother was responsible for the crimes he was being accused of.

On September 25, 2009, Kashamu’s name came up in a court ruling by Judge Charles R. Norgle of the United States District Court in Chicago, Illinois, who upheld his indictment by the US government on drug trafficking charges and conspiracy to smuggle heroin into the country.

Despite trying to maintain his innocence, Kashamu was, at a point, placed under house arrest at his residence on Oladipo Street, Lekki Phase 1, by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The spokesperson for the agency, Michael Ofoyeju and the Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, were both quoted as saying the operation was in line with the legal process of extradition.

Earlier in 1998, a Chicago grand jury indicted Kashamu for conspiracy to import and distribute heroin in the US.

Meanwhile, Kashamu, in a statement, yesterday, said: “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.”