An anti-corruption Group, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has written to the United States of America, USA asking it to expedite action on the Extradition of Buruji Kashamu to the United States of America, in the petition which was addressed to the Attorney General of the United States of America, through the United States of America Ambassador to Nigeria, and dated 17 October, 2014, CACOL said; “ We are constrained to draw your attention to the case of one Buruji Kashamu (“the Accused”); a person who, from the following facts, is undoubtedly a wanted man by the authorities of the United States of America who has continued to evade the arm of the law.”
According to CACOL, it said; “From available court records, it is clear that in March 1994, one Kary Hayes was arrested at O’Hare Airport in Chicago, Illinois whereupon his arrest, he cooperated with the authorities and named the Accused as one of a number of co-conspirators involved in an international heroine smuggling ring. The Federal Government of America, through a Grand Jury indicted and filed charges against all fourteen named co-conspirators, including the Accused. Eleven of the co-conspirators have been convicted, sentenced and served their prison terms, whilst only two, one of which is the Accused, remain at large as fugitives.”
Writing further it said; “In December 1998, and on the request of the US Government, the Accused was arrested by the authorities of the United Kingdom where he was detained for five years during which two unsuccessful trials for the Accused’s extradition were conducted before his eventual release. The first extradition trial took place before a Metropolitan Magistrate, Timothy Workman, who in 1999 committed the Accused to prison to await his extradition to the United States of America. Whilst still upon committal and before his extradition, the Accused applied to the United Kingdom High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division for a review of his committal and to quash same. The said committal was thereby quashed.
“The Accused was subsequently re-arrested and subjected to a second extradition trial before the same Magistrate who had tried the first extradition trial and after this second trial, the Accused was released.
The Accused then returned to Nigeria, but with the realisation of his possible extradition by the Federal Government of Nigeria on the request of the US Government, he attempted to register the judgement from the United Kingdom in Nigeria but this application was refused by the Honourable Justice Gabriel Kolawole, of the Federal High Court, Abuja. Subsequently, the Accused twice attempted to have the Grand Jury indictment against him dismissed by the Federal courts in the United States by filing motions to quash his arrest warrant and dismiss the said indictments.
Again, both his applications were refused by Honourable Charles R. Norgle, in his rulings delivered on the 25 September 2009 and 25th April, 2014 respectively, (the former ruling being affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit).
CACOL also said that; “In a final desperate attempt to prevent his extradition from Nigeria, the Accused again applied to the Federal High Court of Nigeria, (this time in the Lagos division of the court), for an order restraining the Federal Government from extraditing him to the United States. The Court found in his favour and granted him a judgement preventing the Federal Government from extraditing him. This victory was short-lived however, as the said judgement was set aside by the Nigerian Court of Appeal in its judgement delivered on the 2 July, 2013.
From the foregoing facts, the following irresistible conclusions can be drawn: The Accused has been, and is still, under indictment for conspiracy to import heroine into the United States; The Accused has willfully refused to voluntarily go to the United States to answer the charges against him; The Accused has severally attempted to prevent his extradition to the United States, both by United Kingdom and Nigerian governments; No application is yet to be made by the United Stated Government for extradition of the Accused.”
In its petition it stated that; “Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) hereby writes to strenuously urge your good self, and your government, to institute and expedite the extradition process of the fugitive in question to answer the case against him in the United States. This sincere request is all the more urgent and necessary having regard to the fact that he has been made the Chairman of the Mobilization Committee and recognised as the party leader in the South-West region for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which is the ruling party in Nigeria. The implication of this is that he is positioned to interact with elected government officials and influence government policy. He certainly would be a bad role model for Nigerian youths.”
According to CACOL; “Furthermore, now that the general election process in Nigeria is drawing near, for such a person to be openly parading himself as a “leader of the ruling Party” will contaminate the electoral process and also constitute an affront to all democratic ethos. More importantly, there have been agitations from many well-meaning Nigerians including eminent journalists, civil liberty organisations, and international statesmen of repute for the Accused to go to the United States to answer the charges against him, to which he has turned a deaf ear whilst he keeps parading himself as a political leader in the country. This is much to the detriment of the good image and standing of the Nigerian state within the international comity of nations.”
To them the believe that, it is alarming to find that according to recent news reports, the Accused is now aspiring to elective office as a Senator for Ogun East Senatorial District; “The report provides evidence of the said aspiration by reference to a flood of the Accused’s campaign posters throughout Ogun State, in addition to comments confirming the Accused’s intentions from “a close aide” of his. Even members of his own party including the state executive committee, and fellow indigenes of Ogun State have expressed their grave concern for the state and the country at large if the Accused were to contest (and possibly win) elective office, given his antecedent and questionable character. The overwhelming sentiment is that the Accused should be more concerned with answering the charges levelled against him and clearing his name, as opposed to displaying campaign posters all over the state (without even yet being nominated by his party).”
CACOL said that its, humble request is that; “In light of the foregoing, it is imperative, for the preservation of our democratic values, as well as political and electoral system, that all political participants must not only possess unquestionable moral character, but must also be seen to possess same. This is a critical necessity in order for our ever nascent democracy to shed its prior reputation and finally begin to produce leaders and public servants of the highest integrity that can steer our country to the promised land of development and opportunity. CACOL therefore once again, urges your good self and your government, in the interests of democracy and the rule of law, to urgently expedite the extradition of Buruji Kashamu to the United States for him to answer the pending charges against him.”