Justice Gabriel Kolawole of a Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed June 25 for hearing in the extradition application instituted by the Federal Government against the Senator representing Ogun-East in the National Assembly, Buruji Kashamu.
The extradition application, with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/479/2015, was signed by the immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke and filed before the court on May 28, 2015.
The application was predicated on a request by the Embassy of the United States of America seeking the Nigerian government to surrender Kashamu to face one count of drug related charge before the United States District Court for the Northern Illinois, Eastern Division.
An affidavit deposed to by the Assistant US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Diane MacArthur, attached to the extradition request from the US government was said to be dated April 27, 2015.
By the US government’s charge against him, Kashamu allegedly conspired with others to intentionally import “and did import into the United States” quantities of mixtures containing heroin between 1992 and 1995.
The offence for which Kashamu is allegedly wanted in the US is said to contravene section 952(a) of Title 21, United States Code, and punishable under Section 960 of the same law.
The penalty for the offence on conviction under the law, according to the charge, is an imprisonment of not more than 10 years or a fine of up to $10m in the case of an individual or both.
Adoke stated in the application that Kashamu, who is described by the US government as being also known as Alhaji and Kashmal, was a subject of a one-count Second Superseding Indictment in criminal case No. 94 CR 172, filed before the Illinois court on May 21, 1998.
The application added, “There are forfeiture allegations against Buruji Kashamu (a.k.a Alhaji and Kashmal) pursuant to provisions of Title 21 United States Code, Section 853, holding in Illinois Division, within the jurisdiction of the United States of America for the offences of:
“Count 1: Conspiracy to commit knowing and intentionally import and did import into the United States from places outside the United States, quantities of mixtures containing heroin, a schedule one Narcotic drug substance, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 952(a), punishable under Section 960, with a penalty on conviction of a term of imprisonment of not more than 10 years, or a fine of up to USD $10,000,000 in the case of an individual or both.”
In a supporting affidavit to the extradition application, a state counsel in the Central Authority Unit (International Cooperation in Criminal Matters), Federal Ministry of Justice, Abdallah Mohammed, highlighted exhibits attached to the extradition request from the US government.
The exhibits, according to Mohammed, include a certified true copy of a one-count Second Superseding Indictment in criminal case No. 94 CR 172; a CTC of arrest warrant, dated May 22, 1999 against Kashamu, and a copy of the US laws or relevant statutes that provides for the offences and punishment to which Kashamu was indicted.
The exhibits also include “a certified true copy of a plea agreement entered into between the United States Attorney and defendant, Catherine Clearly Wolters (one of Kashamu’s co-suspect) pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.”
They also include letters and residence permits issued by The Gambian authorities in respect of Buruji Kashamu, dated July 29, 1991 and April 2, 1991 respectively, and a letter of notification of withdrawal of study and request for refund addressed to the Bertitiz Language Centre and signed by Buruji Kashamu.
Other exhibits attached to the US extradition request, according to the state counsel, include “photograph representation identity of Buruji Kashamu and a copy of Buruji Kashamu’s Benin Republic’s international passport, issued on January 21, 1998 and expired in January 20, 2001 with passport number 97BD10871.”
They also included “arrest photograph of Buruji Kashamu; arrest photograph of Buruji Kashamu with Catherine Wolters and arrest photograph of Buruji Kashamu with Ellen Wolters.”