The United States of America, made a formal request which triggered the siege laid by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency on Buruji Kashamu’s house in Lagos, Saturday, the anti-drug agency has said.
According to the NDLEA, Mr. Kashamu’s house arrest was to pave the way for his arraignment before the Federal High Court on Monday.
“Kashamu has been a target of both the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for over 20 years and was indicted in the Northern District of Illinois, United States, on charges brought against him by ICE,” the NDLEA said in a statement Saturday.
“Kashamu, who U.S. court documents allege was known in his days as the leader of a prolific heroin trafficking ring based in Chicago, Illinois as ‘God,’ ‘Daddy,’ and ‘Kasmal,’ is wanted to stand trial on charges of conspiracy and importation of controlled substances, namely heroin, into the United States dating back to 1994.”
A special team of NDLEA narcotic operatives stormed Mr. Kashamu’s home at about 5 a.m. on Saturday to keep an eye on the Ogun East District Senator-elect.
While Mr. Kashamu, a senator-elect under the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, had continued to deny the charges, he had refused to heed the advice of a U.S Court of Appeal to come and clear the allegations against him.
Last month, Mr. Kashamu accused former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, of plotting with the Nigerian government and U.S agents to extradite him to America to face the criminal charges against him.
Several weeks later, the Senator-elect filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Lagos, dragging 12 individuals and government agencies of conspiring with his political opponents to abduct and forcefully transport him to the U.S.
The respondents in the suit include the Inspector General of Police; the Chairman of the NDLEA; the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC; the Director General, Department of State Services; the Interpol National Central Bureau; and the Attorney General of the Federation.
Others are the Clerk of the National Assembly; the National Security Adviser to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission; Nigeria Customs Services, Nigeria Immigration Service; and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
In their statement on Saturday, the NDLEA accused Mr. Kashamu, of taking multiple preemptive actions to thwart U.S. extradition efforts.
“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,” the NDLEA said.
“Kashamu has filed injunctions in federal court both in the Northern District of Illinois, United States and in Nigeria to prevent his arrest and prosecution.”
“At the time of his arrest, NDLEA officers allowed Kashamu’s legal attorneys Daniel Onamusi and Barrister Oloyede and close family members including his wife and adult daughters to speak with him and attest to his well-being,” the agency stated.
“Assertions that he will be bundled up under cover of darkness and whisked out of the country are untrue and should not be given any credence. We expect Kashamu as a senator-elect to demonstrate confidence in the Nigerian judicial system and not insinuate otherwise.