National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLA) yesterday said a formal request for extradition of Senator-elect, Prince Buruji Kashamu, has been received from the embassy of the United States of America.
The NDLEA, however, warned the embattled senator-elect to stop pointing fingers at former president, Olusegun Obasanjo and the former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, as the brains behind his current travails.
Rather, the NDLEA said Kashamu should concentrate on the facts of his case instead of dragging Obasanjo and George into his personal problem.
Armed NDLEA operatives had since early Saturday been holding the PDP Ogun East senator-elect under house arrest in his Lekki Phase1 Lagos residence, pending his arraignment today before the Federal High Court in Lagos.
The NDLEA statement read in part: “As preparation intensifies for Senator-elect, Buruji Kashamu, to appear before the Federal High Court today, the NDLEA has called on him to act honourably and concentrate on the facts of his case rather than dragging the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo and the former deputy national chairman of PDP, Chief Olabode George, into his personal problem.
“The fact is that a formal request for his extradition had been received from the Embassy of the United States of America. According to official report, Kashamu has been on the wanted list of both the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
“Kashamu was indicted in the Northern District of Illinois, United States on charges brought against him by ICE. According to the United States court documents, Kashamu in his days as the leader of a prolific heroin trafficking ring based in Chicago, Illinois was known as ‘God’, ‘Daddy’ and ‘Kasmal’. He is wanted to stand trial on charges of conspiracy and importation of controlled substances, namely heroin, into the United States dating back to 1994.
“Kashamu, who holds dual Nigerian/Beninese citizenship, has taken multiple pre-emptive actions to thwart U.S. extradition efforts such as making fanciful claims that his is a case of mistaken identity, and that his deceased brother is responsible for the crimes he is being sought after in the United States. He has filed injunctions at the federal court both in the Northern District of Illinois, United States and in Nigeria to prevent his arrest and prosecution.”
The NDLEA therefore noted that, “These are issues that Kashamu should prepare to address rather than point fingers at eminent elder statesmen who have no connection with the ongoing investigative process. The senator, who was placed on house arrest at the weekend, is expected to appear in court in less than 24 hours.
“We expect Kashamu as a distinguished senator-elect to demonstrate ample confidence in the Nigerian judicial system and stop the blame game.”