A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday fixed July 1, 2015, to rule on the Federal Government’s application, seeking a Bench warrant of arrest against Senator Buruji Kashamu of Ogun-East Senatorial District.
The trial Judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, in a short ruling, fixed the date to decide on whether there are enough reasons for the commencement of the extradition proceedings against Kashamu.
Mr M. S. Hassan, counsel to the Federal Government, at Thursday’s resumed hearing of the extradition application, prayed the court to issue a bench warrant of arrest against Kashamu for him to appear in court to face the extradition case against him.
Kashamu’s counsel, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), in his submission, urged the court to strike out the matter, arguing that the orders made by Justices Ibrahim Buba and O.E Abba of the Federal High Court, Lagos have extinguished the current action by the prosecution.
He urged the court to give effect to the orders made by the two courts and strike out the matter as filed by the prosecution.
Hassan, however, urged the court to discountenance the submissions of the defence counsel, saying that Federal High Court in Lagos has no supervisory jurisdiction over Federal High Court in Abuja.
According to him, at the time the orders were made in Lagos, extradition process had not been initiated.
Hassan, therefore, prayed the court to nullify the orders of the Federal High Courts in Lagos, pointing out that a court of coordinate jurisdiction can nullify an order made in error by another court.
It would be recalled that the extradition application No. FHC/ABJ/CS/479/2015, filed before the court on May 28, 2015 was signed by the immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN).
The application followed a request by the Embassy of the United States of America seeking the Nigerian government to surrender Kashamu to face drug related charges before the United States District Court for the Northern Illinois, Eastern Division.
An affidavit deposed to by Assistant US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Diane MacArthur, attached to the extradition request from the US government was said to be dated April 27, 2015.
According to the US charges against him, Kashamu allegedly conspired with others to intentionally import “and did import” into the United States” quantities of mixtures containing heroin, between 1992 and 1995.
The offence is said to contravene Section 952(a) of Title 21, United States Code, and punishable under Section 960 of the same law.
The penalty for the offence on conviction under the law according to the charge is an imprisonment of not more than 10 years or a fine of up to $10 million in the case of an individual, or both.