The Lagos Division of Appeal Court, on Thursday, reserved judgment in the extradition suit filed by the Federal government of Nigeria, against Mr. Buruji Kashamu, an Ogun State senator.
The Federal Government is seeking the extradition of the senator to the United States of America (USA) to answer criminal charges on drug-related offences.
The three-man panel led by Justice Joseph Ikhegh, reserved judgment in the extradition suit, after parties have adopted their written addresses.
In urging the court to allow Federal Government suit against the senator, Mr. Emeka Ngige (SAN) said the issues raised by the respondent (Kashamu), in his preliminary objection were ‘hearsay evidence’, which formed the basis of the judgment of the suit at Federal High Court. He also told the court that he had responded to the preliminary objection filed by Kashamu in a brief dated January 24, 2018.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria urged the court to dismiss the preliminary objection and allow the appeal filed by the Federal government.
But while urging the court to dismiss Federal government’s appeal, Kashamu’s lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), leading Mr. Hakeem O. Afolabi (SAN), told the court that the submission made by FG’s lawyer are not applicable to the facts before the appellant court. Fagbemi therefore urged the court to dismiss the AGF’s appeal against his client.
The court reserves judgment in the suit after parties have argued and adopted their written addresses. The return of parties to the appellate court followed the withdrawal of all motions filed by Kashamu at an Abuja Federal High Court. The court is expected to determine the merit of the issues raised by the Federal Government and the defence by the senator.
According to Ngige (SAN) the AGF’s appeal, followed the Extradition Treaty between the Federal Government and the U.S.A. The office of the AGF had filed the appeal on behalf of the Federal Government against the Judgments of Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos, and another by Justice Okon Abang of Abuja division.
Ngige stated that in the appeal that the rulings placed a hold on the planned extradition through a restraining order; on the ground that due process of law was not followed.
The AGF urged the appellant court to set aside the judgments of the two justices of the lower court because Kashamu suppressed facts before to secure the restraining order against his extradition.
He also averred that the two judges erred in law by issuing orders in favour of the senator without evaluating the documentary evidence placed before them during the hearing.
AGF then prayed the appellate court to void and set aside the two judgments.
Kashamu had alleged that no court order was obtained before federal government set the move to extradite him in motion.