Non- service of hearing notice on AGF, stalls Kashamu’s suit against extradition

Senator Buruji Kashamu.

The scheduled hearing of a suit filed by the Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Kashamu Buruji, seeking to restrain security agencies from extraditing him to United State of America (USA) to answer alleged drug charges was stalled at the Federal High Court, Lagos, today, due to improper service by Kashamu’s lawyer on other parties.
Kashamu in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/930/18, has asked a Federal High Court, Lagos, to restrained the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Department of State Security (DSS), National Drug Laws Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining all the respondents from arresting or detaining him in any matter whatsoever, interfering with his personal liberty and freedom of movement on the basis of his lawyer’s letter dated May 23, 2018, wherein he protested the NDLEA’s invitation requesting for his extradition to USA.

The Senator had also urged the court for a declaration that the instructions given by the AGF to other respondents on May 25, 2018, in reaction to his letter dated May 23, 2018, wherein he protested the NDLEA’s invitation to the USA to send a request for his extradition to US, and the attempt and any further attempts by the first to fourth respondents to arrest him on the basis of the AGF’s said instructions are breach of his fundamental rights to personal liberty and freedom as guaranteed by Section 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and article 14 of the African Charter on human and people’s rights.

However, one of the respondents, NDLEA in its preliminary objection filed before the court by it’s Legal Officers, J. N. Sunday and Ichakpa Oigoga, had urged the court to dismiss Kashamu’s suit for being incompetent, as it failed to disclose any infringement of his right. And for being an abuse of court processes.

NDLEA in an affidavit in support of the preliminary objection deposed to by one of its litigation/exhibit officers, Kareem Olayinka, stated that the authorities of the USA are currently seeking to have Kashamu extradited to their country to answer charges relating to the trafficking in heroin. And that the USA government had made the request sometimes in May 2015.

The deponent also stated that since the applicant began to get wind of the extradition request he has filed multiplicity of law suits relating to the issue. 

Among the suits filed by the applicant include: suit numbers FHC/L/CS/508/14, FHC/L/CS 508/2015, FHC/L/CS/763/2015 and FHC/L/CS/479/2015, before Justice O. E. Abang, Justice Nasir Ibrahim Buba and Justice G. O. Kolawole. Adding that the AGF successfully prosecuted an appeal against the judgment of Justice O. E. Abang in both substantive and contempt case and obtained judgments setting aside the decisions of the lower court in appeal numbers CA/L/1030/2015 and CA/L/1030A/205.

He urged the court to dismiss Kashamu’s suit as it failed to disclose any cause of action against AGF, for violation of his rights, adding that the multiplicity of actions continuously filed and maintained by the applicant against NDLEA is intended to annoy and divert its energy and attention from discharging its mandate to the nation.

He also stated that it is apparent that Kashamu is only engaged  in forum shopping that will grant his desired reliefs by the multiplicity of his actions.

At the resumed hearing of the matter today, while counsel to all parties informed the court of their readiness to proceed with the hearing of the suit, the DSS lawyer, M. O. Bajela, informed the court that Kashamu’s lawyers have complied with the court’s directive that ordered them to serve the hearing notice on all parties.
Bajela informed the court that the AGF who is vital to the suit was not represented.
However, upon perusal of the court’s file, it was discovered that the hearing notice which was meant for AGF was served on DSS which Bajela signed for.
The situation which Kashamu’s lawyer, Mobolaji Akintunde described as unfortunate.
“I’m so surprised that the court’s bailiff copied out wrong address. It’s quite unfortunate”, Akintunde said.
Consequently, Kashamu’s lawyer, Akintunde pleaded the court for adjournment, to enable them properly serve the AGF. 
Justice Aneke consequently ordered that the hearing notice be issued and served on AGF, and adjourned the matter to March 8, for hearing of Kashamu’s motion on notice and NDLEA’s preliminary objection.