Download ruling: U.S. Court insists Nigerian fugitive senator be extradited

Ogun State senator, Buruji Kashamu [Photo Credit: CBS News]
Ogun State senator, Buruji Kashamu [Photo Credit: CBS News]

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, Illinois, last week affirmed the ruling of a lower court for the extradition of Ogun State senator, Buruji Kashamu, to stand trial for drugs crimes.

In a January 23, 2017 order, the presiding judge, Richard Posner, said Mr. Kashamu must be extradited to the United States as he had failed to make any compelling case to the contrary.

“For all these reasons, the decision of the district court is affirmed,” Mr. Posner said while issuing the order without oral argument in case number 161004.

The order comes three years after Mr. Posner delivered a similar judgement for immediate extradition of Mr. Kashamu for alleged drugs offences and money laundering.

In his September 15, 2014 judgment, Mr. Posner said Mr. Kashamu’s alleged crimes have no statute of limitation and whenever he steps into the United States “whether voluntarily or involuntarily, he could be put on trial in the federal district court in Chicago.”

But Mr. Kashamu issued a statement on January 26 to rubbish Mr. Posner’s latest order and reprimand the media for allegedly “sensationalising” his ordeal. He said the controversy had been a case of mistaken identity and he had been discharged and acquitted following a lengthy trial in the United Kingdom years ago.

Mr. Kashamu said he was the one who dragged the U.S. Government before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in 2015 following a conspiracy to abduct him in Nigeria.

The senator said reporters are harping on his run in with the American law enforcement because they have nothing else to sensationalise since the presidential election had passed.

“The media probably needs a stimulant to sustain their audience now that the drama of the US election is abating,” he said in a statement by his counsel, Ajibola Oluyede.

Specifically, Mr. Kashamu’s lawyers are citing a 1986 amendment to the United States Foreign Assistance Act which prohibits U.S. law enforcement agents from arresting narcotics suspects in foreign countries.

Known as the Mansfield Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act, the law stated, amongst other things, in section one as follows:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no officer or employee of the United States may engage or participate in any direct police arrest action in any foreign country with respect to narcotics control efforts.

“No such officer or employee may interrogate or be present during the interrogation of any United States person arrested in any foreign country with respect to narcotics control efforts without the written consent of such person.”

Mr. Oluyede predicted grave consequences for the Nigerian state should Mr. Posner’s pronouncement be allowed to stand.

“It is disturbing that the media has ignored the implication of the US Seventh Circuit’s pronouncement concerning the capacity of the US government to carry out police operations in foreign territory in breach of International Law and the municipal law of the victim state,” he said.

But Mr. Posner in his argument said American authorities could be present when Nigerian officials executing Mr. Kashamu’s extradition order.

The judge apparently relied on a subsection of the law which stated, amongst other things, that that the first section “shall not prohibit officers and employees of the United States from being present during direct police arrest actions with respect to narcotics control efforts in a foreign country to the extent that the Secretary of State and the government of that country agree to such an exemption.

“The Secretary of State shall report any such agreement to the Congress before the agreement takes effect.”

Mr. Oluyede did not immediately respond to PREMIUM TIMES’ email seeking his position on that part of the law Monday afternoon.

Download and read the full judgment on Mr. Kashamu as obtained by PREMIUM TIMES here.


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  • Adeyemi Juwon

    HON. JUSTICE G.O. KOLAWOLE in dismissing the extradition case brought against Senator Buruji Kashamu. Let those who have ears hear!

    “The Applicant (Senator Buruji Kashamu) can always, and I say this by way of obiter, perhaps as gratuitous judicial opinion, use the said Judgment i.e. Exhibits “A” and “B” (the two British court judgments) as a “shield” to defend any legal proceedings, on the principle of estoppel res judicata, that may be initiated based on the same allegation that he had either been convicted or wanted in the United States on the issues for which the United States Government initiated extradition proceedings against him in the United Kingdom. Secondly, as per the Applicant’s “political detractors”, I have no doubt that the Applicant does not need to have Exhibits “A” and “B” registered in the Federal High Court of Nigeria to make them useful as a “sword” to prosecute and or initiate civil claims in libel or defamation where any written or spoken words are founded on a false allegation of his previous conviction in the United States on the same issues which led to the extradition proceedings in the United Kingdom and which failed on account of lack of or withholding of certain evidence by the U.S. Government or its Prosecuting authorities to the Magistrate who heard the initial extradition proceedings and committed the Applicant to be extradited until the said order was set aside. It would appear that the order committal was set aside on the ground of withholding of evidence of mistaken identity by one of the alleged co-conspirators in the Magistrate’s Court’s proceedings in the United Kingdom.”

    *HON. JUSTICE G.O. KOLAWOLE in dismissing the extradition case brought against Senator Buruji Kashamu. Let those who have ears hear!
    Judge

    • Law Offices

      @adeyemijuwon:disqus

      It’s true that in London court, the Magistrate refused extradition. The reason is
      irrelevant, except in one sense. Does that refusal constitute a final decision
      in the federal court in Chicago? The answer given by the Circuit (appellate)
      court is, ‘NO’. It follows therefore that the argument of ‘a previous trial for
      extradition in London’ has been resolved negatively under U.S jurisprudence.
      The appellate court further said Buruji Kashamu must now stand trial for
      selling heroine contrary to U.S law. According to the appellate court,
      U.S operatives are permitted by U.S law on the basis of provisional warrant of
      arrest to come to Nigeria and be present (in other words, ‘assist’) at the
      scene if and when Nigeria’s NDLEA sets up ambush to arrest and extradite
      Buruji Kashamu to the United States of America.

  • Adeyemi Juwon

    HON. JUSTICE G.O. KOLAWOLE in dismissing the extradition case brought against Senator Buruji Kashamu. Let those who have ears hear!

    “The Applicant (Senator Buruji Kashamu) can always, and I say this by way of obiter, perhaps as gratuitous judicial opinion, use the said Judgment i.e. Exhibits “A” and “B” (the two British court judgments) as a “shield” to defend any legal proceedings, on the principle of estoppel res judicata, that may be initiated based on the same allegation that he had either been convicted or wanted in the United States on the issues for which the United States Government initiated extradition proceedings against him in the United Kingdom. Secondly, as per the Applicant’s “political detractors”, I have no doubt that the Applicant does not need to have Exhibits “A” and “B” registered in the Federal High Court of Nigeria to make them useful as a “sword” to prosecute and or initiate civil claims in libel or defamation where any written or spoken words are founded on a false allegation of his previous conviction in the United States on the same issues which led to the extradition proceedings in the United Kingdom and which failed on account of lack of or withholding of certain evidence by the U.S. Government or its Prosecuting authorities to the Magistrate who heard the initial extradition proceedings and committed the Applicant to be extradited until the said order was set aside. It would appear that the order committal was set aside on the ground of withholding of evidence of mistaken identity by one of the alleged co-conspirators in the Magistrate’s Court’s proceedings in the United Kingdom.”

    *HON. JUSTICE G.O. KOLAWOLE in dismissing the extradition case brought against Senator Buruji Kashamu. Let those who have ears hear!
    Judge

    ………

    We must understand that the senator is just been persecuted for no reason. All the media war against him is as a result of his openness and love that he’s currently enjoying from his constituency and the Nation at large.

  • Prince Adeniyi Olusola Olutime

    The funny aspect of this mundane story is that the writer is obviously coward and lacks good sense to appreciate democracy and rule of law. I wish to put it a question forward to know if abduction is legal in the first place? Here is a man that has been tried and vindicated of the same allegation by two British courts, of which the ruling is yet to be appealed till tomorrow. Taking any step against Senator Buruji Kashamu by any agency in Nigeria presently will amount to abuse of power and illegality. I think people should start learning to be civil in dealing, and immitiate country like America that derives pleasure in protecting the rights of its citizens, which was also reaffirmed by their new President, Mr. Trump. Any plot to subject SPBK to injustice and punishment on the offense he new nothing about will be resisted by the masses.

  • EdunEmma5050

    “The Applicant (Senator Buruji Kashamu) can always, and I say this by way of obiter, perhaps as gratuitous judicial opinion, use the said Judgment i.e. Exhibits “A” and “B” (the two British court judgments) as a “shield” to defend any legal proceedings, on the principle of estoppel res judicata, that may be initiated based on the same allegation that he had either been convicted or wanted in the United States on the issues for which the United States Government initiated extradition proceedings against him in the United Kingdom. Secondly, as per the Applicant’s “political detractors”, I have no doubt that the Applicant does not need to have Exhibits “A” and “B” registered in the Federal High Court of Nigeria to make them useful as a “sword” to prosecute and or initiate civil claims in libel or defamation where any written or spoken words are founded on a false allegation of his previous conviction in the United States on the same issues which led to the extradition proceedings in the United Kingdom and which failed on account of lack of or withholding of certain evidence by the U.S. Government or its Prosecuting authorities to the Magistrate who heard the initial extradition proceedings and committed the Applicant to be extradited until the said order was set aside. It would appear that the order committal was set aside on the ground of withholding of evidence of mistaken identity by one of the alleged co-conspirators in the Magistrate’s Court’s proceedings in the United Kingdom.”

    *HON. JUSTICE G.O. KOLAWOLE in dismissing the extradition case brought against Senator Buruji Kashamu. Let those who have ears hear!
    Judge
    1-07-2015

  • EdunEmma5050

    You are all doing it in vain, Bcoz i don’t know hw some people want to turn Nigeria to Banana Republic, Two different High in UK has vindicated this man, likewise another two different Federal High Court in Nigeria here has banned any securities agency from make attempts of arrest him.
    What is happening again?

  • EdunEmma5050

    In summarizing the facts, Lord Justice Pill found as follows:

    “What has now emerged, with a letter from the United States’ Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, is a report of an investigation into the case against the applicant conducted on 9 February 1999. The report stated insofar as material, that on 8 February 1999, Fillmore viewed a photo lineup for the purpose of identifying Kashamu. The meeting was held in the US Attorney’s office. An officer of the Attorney had received a copy of an arrest photograph of Kashamu from another officer. The report continues that the officer ‘…took the copy of the arrest photograph and placed in a DEA form 470, photo identification folder, with seven photographs of black males. These black males had similar facial hair and were the approximate age of Kashamu. This photo lineup was shown to Fillmore. Fillmore provided the following statements: ‘it is not jumping out at me, I know what the man looks like.’ Fillmore further stated that photograph #03 looked like a bad photograph of him. Photos #02, #04, #06, #07 and #08 did not look like him at all. Fillmore stated that #05 looked a lot like him but did not look like him. Fillmore ruled out photograph #01. Fillmore stated that #05 looked the closest like Alaji.’ That is the name by which Fillmore knew his co-conspirator. ‘The arrest photograph of Kashamu was placed in position #07 of the photo lineup.’ I add by way of comment that that was one of the photographs which Fillmore said did not look like the co-conspirator at all. A photograph of the applicant, the arrest photograph, taken upon the applicant’s arrest about three years after the events relevant to the alleged conspiracy, had been shown Fillmore on 8 February, with that result. No reference was made to the 9 February report in the Statement prepared by the United States Government for the application for extradition. It was mentioned neither in the United States Attorney’s statement nor in the Statement signed by Fillmore. The arrest photograph was disclosed but no reference was made to its potentially exculpatory effect.”

    The Court therefore held: “The committal order, must in the circumstances, be quashed by reason of the unfairness of the proceedings resulting from the non-disclosure of crucial evidence, as accepted by the government. The writ of habeas corpus will, accordingly issue”.
    British Court in the year 2000

  • EdunEmma5050

    The Bow Street Magistrate Court delivered its judgment on the 10th of January 2003 wherein District Judge Tim Workman came to the conclusion that the new identification evidence produced by the US Government was worthless and unreliable and that I was clearly not the person involved in the narcotics transaction for which the indictment was made in the US and should thus be discharged. In this regard, the District Judge held:
    “As a result of the evidence that the Defence has placed before me and the evidence which the Government has tendered in rebuttal, I find the following facts: that the defendant has a brother, Alhaji Adewale Adeshina Kashamu who bears a striking resemblance to that of his brother; I am satisfied that the defendant’s brother was one of the co-conspirators in the drugs importation which involved Catherine and Ellen Wolters; I am satisfied that the defendant informed both interpol and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency of the activities of this group.”

    The District Judge then concluded pungently that:
    “certain of the assertions made by the government are untrue ……I am satisfied that the overwhelming evidence here is such that the identification evidence, already tenuous, has now been so undermined as to make it incredible and valueless. In those circumstances there is no prima facie case against the defendant and I propose to discharge him.”
    *The second British court judgment in 2003

  • SUCO

    The US failed twice in two different courts in UK when this case came up in United Kingdom and Senator Kashamu was compensated by the UK authority after he was exonerated of illicit drug offence.

    Again in 2015, The US also failed back home in Nigeria as Nigerian courts also exonerated Senator Kashamu of any involvement in the purported Drug offence. I think it is barbaric and laughable to see a country like USA chasing shadows, it is undemocratic on the part of USA to allow itself to be used by some greedy Nigerian Politicians who are not comfortable with Senator Kashamu’s political attainment. I stand to be corrected… this issue has political undertone and it is so sad that America stoop so low to this level.

  • SUCO

    Report that Exonerated Prince Kashamu from the purported drug offence in USA

    Setting the record straight;

    The report stated, insofar as is material, that on 8 February 1999, Fillmore viewed a photo lineup for the purpose of identifying Kashamu. The meeting was held in the US Attorney ‘s office.

    An officer of the attorney had received a copy of an arrest photograph of Kashamu from another officer. The report continues that the officer:

    ” Took the copy of the arrest photograph of Kashamu and placed in the DEA form 470, photo identification folder, with seven photographs of black males.

    These black males had similar facial hair and were the approximate age of Kashamu. This photo line up was shown to Fillmore. Fillmore provided the following statements: ‘it is not jumping out at me., I know what the man looks like.’ Fillmore further stated that photograph 03 looked like a bad photograph of him. Photos 2, 4, 6,7 and 8 did not look like him at all. Fillmore stated that 05 looked a lot like him but did not look like him. Fillmore ruled out photograph 01. Fillmore stated that 05 looked the closest to Alhaji”

    That is the name which Fillmore knew his co-conspirator.

    “The arrest photograph of Kashamu was placed in position 07 of the photo lineup. ”
    And the case was thrown out.

    Back home in Nigeria, there are several other court judgements that also exonerated Prince Kashamu.

    It stand against logic and laughable when supposed knowledgeable set of people begin to think their continuous wailing on social media platforms can overrule decision of competent courts of jurisdiction.

    When you have a good case in your hand, you stand a good chance of coming out victorious from the courtroom.

    The jury in UK have spoken; Kashamu has no case to answer.

    The judges in Nigeria have spoken; Kashamu has no case to answer.

    The US judgement can’t overrule that of UK and Nigeria. Nigeria is a sovereign state and not a Banana Republic where anything goes.

    I rise.

    Oyejide Sunkanmi (Suco)

    • absam777

      Well then, would your client go to the UK for the hearing of the appeal? I very much doubt it

    • Abdullahi Abubakar

      (When you have a good case in your hand, you stand a good chance of coming out victorious from the courtroom)

      if your narrative is true, let the man travel to the US and clear his name and claim damage

      • Oskirin

        God bless ya….now wey trump dey pursue people…buruji see oportunity to travel, he no wan go.abeg make una come carry me oja re..at least i go see light 24/7 n beta road.

  • Governor-General

    Ask US why they didn’t appeal the two British courts’ judgments, 14 years after?

    • absam777

      The guy keep using this nonsense as his defence. Why appeal British court judgement when America has her own court,? They are two different jurisdictions. It is like saying that just because you passed the bar exam in the UK you are automatically allowed to practice in the USA. Get it?

  • M.S Takoradi

    @governorgeneral:disqus

    I want the
    Federal Minister of Health in Nigeria to provide non-military protection for
    Buruji Kashamu. After the court said that as long as he is alive he must be
    arrested and brought to America to stand criminal trial for drugs-running it
    means the Minister for Health in Nigeria has his work cut out. The Minister
    must fumigate the 10-metre perimeter of Buruji Kashamu’s house in Abuja
    evetyday. When I say every day I mean every day. Any big rat that gets into
    Buruji’s house and makes a rustling sound at night can cause him
    cardio-pulmonary failure because he will take every noise as the
    footsteps of U.S operatives.

    • thusspokez

      Not to mention CIA drones watching him from the sky!

  • thusspokez

    @EdunEmma5050, spare readers the nonsensical defence and ask the fugitive Kasham to return to the US and clear his name. US prosecutors don’t rely on just one evidence alone, e.g., facial recognition but use DNA, fingerprints, witness, etc. further, this forum is not a US court, and we the readers are not the juries, so save your breath.

    • Law Offices

      @thusspokez:disqus:

      It is true that in London court the Magistrate refused extradition. The reason is irrelevant except in one sense.
      Does that refusal constitute a final decision in the federal court in Chicago. The answer given by the Circuit
      (appellate) court is, NO. It follows therefore that the argument of previous trial for extradition in London
      has been resolved negatively under U.S jurisprudence. The appellate court further said Buruji Kashamu
      must stand trial for selling heroine. contrary to America’s law. According to the appellate court
      U.S operatives are permitted by U.S law on the basis of provisional warrant of arrest to come to Nigeria
      and be present at the scene if and where Nigeria’s NDLEA sets up ambush to arrest Buruji Kashamu.

      • Pastor J.J.Jones

        The love of money is the root of all evil; which, while some coveted after, they erred from faith

        and pierced themselves with sorrows. For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world

        and lose his own soul? The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro,

        of those who seek death. There are thorns and snares on the path of the crooked.”

  • Law Offices

    Premium Times Editor,

    Kashamu Buruji is in far more trouble than he knows

    It’s true that in London court, the Magistrate refused extradition. The reason is
    irrelevant, except in one sense. Does that refusal constitute a final decision
    in the federal court in Chicago, U.S.A? The answer given by U.S Circuit Court
    is, ‘NO’. It follows therefore that the long argument of ‘a previous trial for
    extradition in London’ has been resolved negatively under U.S jurisprudence.
    The appellate court then further said Buruji Kashamu must now stand trial for
    selling heroine contrary to U.S law. According to the appellate court,
    U.S operatives are permitted by U.S law on the basis of provisional warrant of
    arrest to come to Nigeria and be present (in other words, ‘assist’) at the
    scene if and when Nigeria’s NDLEA sets up ambush to arrest and extradite
    Buruji Kashamu to the United States of America.