Senator Buruji Kashamu, representing Ogun East in the Senate, has lost in his bid to stop the police from making him appear before a panel set up by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to probe him in an alleged plan to kill a member of the House of Representatives.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of a Federal High Court, Abuja, Thursday, ordered him to appear before the panel, saying the police have power to investigate a crime.
According to Justice Dimgba, “The first respondent (IGP) has the duty to investigate a crime and if need be arrest.
“I don’t believe the first respondent (IGP) has erred because it has power to investigate.
“The applicants is to submit himself to the first respondent for investigation”, the court held.
Dimgba held that though the applicant fears were genuine based on happenings in past, he said there was no basis to prevent the police from carrying out their statutory responsibility.
The Judge said that the lawmaker did not place sufficient materials before the court upon which an order perpetual injunction can be issued against the police on his invitation.
specifically Justice Dimgba said that the fear expressed by the Senator that the police wants to use the petition as a ploy to extradite him to the United States of America to face drug charges was unfounded and has no foundation.
The Judge said Kashamu’ fears of arrest, detention and possible extradiction to the US were speculative, therefore cannot hold especially as the respondents have said it was far from the facts on ground.
In dismissing four of the reliefs sought by the applicant for lack of merit, Justice Dimgba said Kashamu’s apprehension was palpable.
He therefore restrained the police or the SSS from arresting, detaining or extraditing him to the US when he appears before the panel in course of investigating the petition.
Kashamu had approached the court August 2016, to restrain the IGP, Police and SSS from making him appear before the panel.
In the application Kashamu had argued that the invitation by the IGP and the Director General of SSS to make him appear before an investigation panel was a ploy to arrest and extradite him to the United States of America (USA) to face trial on alleged drug related offences.
The Senator claimed that the invitation extended to him in respect of a petition on an assassination attempt on the life of a House of Representatives member, Oladipupo Keshinton, was a ploy to get at him and transport him to America at the instance of the American government to face charges on alleged hard drug offence.
Kashamu in an originating summon argued by his counsel, Prince Raphael Oluyede, urged Justice Dimgba to protect him from being forcefully ferried abroad by stopping the IGP, DG of SSS and their agents from inviting or arresting him.
He said that his fundamental rights to liberty or freedom would be breached if the police and SSS are not refrained from curtailing his movement.
The Senator further contended that the petition upon which police is seeking to invite him has been investigated and found baseless and unfounded, hence there is no need for the police and SSS to seek his arrest.
Kashamu said that he rushed to the court to seek an order against his arrest because the police and the SSS are bent on arresting him.
However, in opposing the claims of Senator Buruji, the IGP said that the applicant was being invited to make statement before a special investigation panel set up to look into the allegation of assassination attempt against Senator Kashamu and was any a ploy to arrest him.
The IGP, through his counsel, David Ibodo, said the issue of extradition raised by the Senator was his imagination and not that of the police.
He appealed to the court to issue an order to compel the Senator to appear before the police panel for interrogation in an assassination attempt.
Ibodo submitted that the Senator rushed to court to prevent the police from performing its statutory function and urged the court not to grant the application.
“There are two petitions addressed to the IGP on allegation of assassination attempt in Port Harcourt, Rivers State the first one was written by House of Representatives member, Honorable Oladipupo Keshinton upon which the Senator was invited.
“Rather than honouring police invitation, the Senator chooses to write a counter petition on the same issue.
“At the moment, the IGP has two petitions and had set up a Special Investigation Panel to look into them to ascertain the genuineness of the allegation”, he said.
Ibodo averred that the House of Representatives member who wrote the first petition has appeared before the police panel and made statements while the Senator rather than honouring police invitation opted to come before this court to seek an order to stop police from doing their job.
“I humbly urge this Honorable court not to grant the prayers of the the applicant as doing so will send a danger signal and would prevent police from performing its statutory function”
The House of Representatives member who is also a respondent in the case accused the Senator of embarking on forum shopping to avoid appearing before a police panel to answer allegations on attempted.
The lawmaker through his counsel Ehi Uwaifo urged the court to dismiss the application of the Senator and to order him to appear before the panel to enable them perform its statutory function.