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Court Restrains NDLEA, AGF from Alleged Plots to Abduct Kashamu

Senator-elect, Prince Buruji Kashamu

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A Federal High Court in Abuja has restrained the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and its immediate past Chairman, Ahmadu Giade from taking steps to arrest, detain or abduct Senator Buruji Kashamu, representing Ogun East.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole gave the order on Wednesday in a ruling on an ex-parte motion filed in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/479/2015 by Kashamu.

The judge, who had granted a similar order on Monday, which he said, would lapse today.

However, upon going through the processes filed by Kashamu and the evidence attached to them, the judge in his ruling on Wednesday extended the order till the determination of a motion on notice filed by Kashamu seeking the committal of the AGF, NDLEA and Giade to prison for allegedly disobeying the court’s earlier judgment made on July 1 last year.

Justice Kolawole had, last year dismissed an extradition proceedings initiated against Kashamu by the immediate past Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN) on May 28, 2015 on the ground that it was without merit.

Kashamu, in his fresh application, alleged that the respondents, having failed to obtain the consent of any court to extradite him, have now resorted to “subterranean, perhaps invidious steps to circumvent the judicial process in order to achieve their ultimate goal of abducting him and shipping him, under the cover of judicial darkness, to the United States on allegation on which British courts had exonerated him.”

By the court’s order, the respondents and their agents are restrained from  “arresting, detaining, procuring or applying for any warrant for the arrest of the applicant for any purpose connected with the false allegation of unlawful importation of prohibited narcotic substances into the United States of America in respect of which the applicant has been exonerated by British court, including the purpose of transporting him to the US without recourse to due extradition process as prescribed by Nigerian laws, until for committal filed by the applicant is heard and determined.”

The judge, who expressed dismay over the allegation said, he hoped it was not true because such development was capable of casting the country in bad light. He, however, expressed confidence in the capacity of the current AGF, Abubakar Malami (SAN) to prevent such incident from happening under his watch.

Justice Kolawole said:  “Let me confess that when I read through the applicant’s depositions, my sincere hope and prayer is that the allegations are not true. Otherwise, the facts are so sordid that it would expose the Nigerian state, perhaps as a banana republic, where just anything goes.

“I am conscious of the fact that, at this stage of the proceedings, I am only exposed to the applicant’s account of issues and developments, which had necessitated his second recourse to this court to seek protection. I hope and pray once again, that the facts alleged in the applicant’s affidavit and the contents of the documentary exhibits annexed, are proved to be untrue by the respondents.

“If they were otherwise, it will be a sad commentary on the sanctity of the court process and will, constitute an unmitigated affront to the sanctity of the rule of law, which is an essential, perhaps a strategic pillar and a major lifeline on which democratic governance rests.

“On account of the ruling of this court of 1st of July 2015, judicial notice of which I take,  I have no doubt that the applicant already has a legal right which he can seek to protect,  by way of an order of injunction, which can be granted, even where the threat to the right that inures in an applicant is uncertain .This court, as a creation of the Constitution, has the constitutional responsibility to protect its own integrity and protect the sanctity of its own processes and orders duly made.

“It is in this regard that I am of the view that the applicant, on the strength of the ruling of this court delivered on the 1st of July 2015 entitled to the grant of prayer one in the applicant’s motion ex-parte filed on the 26th of January 2016. To do otherwise would amount to an unpardonable judicial negligence in the event that the facts alleged in the applicant’s pleadings turn out to be true. I hope that it is not true.

“The doubt which I have continuously expressed is perhaps based on my judicial assumption and knowledge of the professional integrity of the current Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), who by virtue of section 142(2)(J) of the Evidence Act 2011, I am required to take judicial notice, that as a senior counsel, who was elevated to the prestigious rank of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria in December 2008, who knows and truly understands, in that capacity, the weighty nature of the way the applicant is portrayed in the affidavit in support of the motion ex-parte should the incident of his abduction be effected by state actors under his watch  as the chief law officer of the federation.

“Prayer one in the motion ex-parte filed on January 26, 2016 is granted as prayed in the same terms as the interim injunction which I granted on February 8, 2016. The interim injunction is hereby renewed and shall remain in place pending the determination of the motion on notice filed on the 26th January 2016.

Justice Kolawole also granted the other prayers in the motion ex-parte, which included:

*An order dispensing personal service on the 1st alleged contemnor by serving the processes in this suit on the 1st alleged contemnor in the office of the 3rd alleged contemnor, Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja.

*An order granting leave to the applicant to serve the processes in this suit on the 2nd alleged contemnor at 4 Shaw Road, Lagos outside the jurisdiction of this court.

He adjourned to February 24 for hearing of the motion on notice.



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