NDLEA operatives storm Kashamu’s home

Kashamu Buruji [Photo Credit: The News Nigeria]

Officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have stormed the Lagos residence of Buruji Kashamu, a Nigerian senator-elect and member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, wanted by the United States government on drug-related charges.

It is yet unclear why the anti-narcotics agency stormed Mr. Kashamu’s home on Saturday, but the Senator-elect has been battling accusations of drug smuggling in the U.S.

Mr. Kashamu’s media aide, Austin Oniyokor, confirmed that nearly two dozen anti-drug operatives arrived Mr. Kashamu’s residence early Saturday.

“Yes it is true, the NDLEA officials are here, they are not less than twenty in number, but we are issuing a press statement on this very soon,” the aide hurriedly told our correspondent on phone.

It was unclear if Mr. Kashamu was at home at the time, but NDLEA officials were yet to gain access into the premises at the time of this report.

Efforts to reach the NDLEA were not successful.

Mr. Kashamu won election to represent Ogun East Senatorial District in the National Assembly session starting June.

He has instituted a lawsuit to block any move by the Nigerian government to release him to face trial in the U.S.

A U.S federal grand jury, in 1998, charged Mr. Kashamu and 14 others for their alleged involvement in an international conspiracy to smuggle heroin into America.

He denies any wrongdoing and says the American government is mistaking him for another person.

While Mr. Kashamu, a prominent member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, has continued to deny the charges, he has refused to heed the advice of a U.S Court of Appeal to come and clear the allegations against him.

Last month, Mr. Kashamu accused former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, of plotting with the Nigerian government and U.S agents to extradite him to America to face the criminal charges against him.

Several weeks later, the Senator-elect filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Lagos, dragging 12 individuals and government agencies of conspiring with his political opponents to abduct and forcefully transport him to the U.S.

The respondents in the suit include the Inspector General of Police; the Chairman of the NDLEA; the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC; the Director General, Department of State Services; the Interpol National Central Bureau; and the Attorney General of the Federation.

Others are the Clerk of the National Assembly; the National Security Adviser to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission; Nigeria Customs Services, Nigeria Immigration Service; and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

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