Despite a valid order by Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency to immediately vacate the residence of the embattled Senator-elect for Ogun East Senatorial District, Prince Buruji Kashamu, the anti-narcotics agency has refused to shift grounds.
The ruling was sequel to an oral application by the Peoples Democratic Party chieftain’s lawyer, Alex Iziyon (SAN), who prayed the court to direct the NDLEA officers to vacate his client’s house.
The law enforcement agents had been laying siege on the Lekki Phase 1 residence of Kashamu in Lagos State since Saturday in an attempt to commence extradition proceedings against him. But the Senator-elect has remained holed-up in his master bedroom, threatening to commit suicide if the NDLEA officials break into his room.
Shortly after the ruling, the NDLEA, through its spokesperson, Mitchell Ofoyeju, issued a statement describing the court order as trivial and an attempt to prevent it from performing its statutory functions.
The agency insisted that it had received an order from the United States Government to extradite Kashamu for drug related offences and claimed to have served a warrant of arrest on him.
The statement read, “NDLEA has described as diversionary and inconsequential reports of a court order directing its men to vacate the residence of senator-elect, Buruji Kashamu, and requesting both the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Bello Adoke and Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, to appear in court.
“The NDLEA does not believe that any court will issue an order preventing a government agency from performing its statutory responsibilities in a lawful manner. The agency has, therefore, refused to be distracted and will continue to maintain presence at the residence. It is advisable that Kashamu respects the law by submitting himself to the due process of the law.
“We are prepared to explore all legal means in handling this case to a logical conclusion. The Nigerian Government has received a formal request from the United States government for the extradition of Prince Buriji Kashamu. It also has a provisional warrant of arrest on him contrary to claims by his attorneys”.
The statement stated further that Kashamu had been the prime target of investigations by both the US Drug Enforcement Administration and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the Department of Homeland Security for over 20 years.
It added that the politician had been indicted by the Grand Jury in the Northern District of Illinois, United States on heroin trafficking charges.