Officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Saturday laid siege to the Lagos home of senator-elect Buruji Kashamu who is wanted by prosecutors in the US to face drug smuggling charges. In a telephone conversation with a correspondent of SaharaReporters, a distraught Mr. Kashamu threatened to kill himself rather than surrender himself to what he views as an unjust attempt to extradite him to the US.
On March 28, 2015, Mr. Kashamu won election on the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as one of the senators-elect from Ogun State.
Security sources as well as Mr. Kashamu told SaharaReporters that masked NDLEA agents arrived at the senator-elect’s Lagos residence as early as 4.30 a.m. and cordoned off the address.
When a correspondent of SaharaReporters arrived at Mr. Kashamu’s plush home located on Oladipo Omotosho Street in Lekki Phase 1, he saw a crime scene tape surrounding the street. Heavily armed NDLEA agents were present everywhere on the street as well as surrounding streets.
Shortly after our correspondent’s arrival, Mr. Kashamu reached us by telephone claiming that the agents had already broken his door with the intention of abducting him and illegally extraditing him to the US. He said the only reason he was not abducted already was because he threatened to commit suicide should the NDLEA agents break into his bedroom where he has barricaded himself.
The senator-elect further accused the anti-drug agents of invading his residence without first obtaining an arrest warrant. He said that he had decided to accept a state of virtual house arrest until Monday when he can confront the NDLEA in court.
A security source told SaharaReporters that NDLEA officials decided to arrest and extradite Mr. Kashamu after they decided that he had compromised the judges hearing his petition against extradition. “There is one particular judge who is in his pocket,” one official told our correspondent. “[The judge] is waiting till next week to grant a perpetual order next week baring Chief Kashamu’s extradition,” he added.
US authorities have named Mr. Kashamu as a major drug supplier in a high-profile drug case that has spun off the hit TV series “Orange is the New Black.” Mr. Kashamu has consistently proclaimed his innocence, claiming that the alleged drug kingpin is his brother. He has noted that a British court had cleared him of the charges, and had released him after a trial in the UK reportedly indicated that he was not involved in drug deals.
Mr. Kashamu stated that today’s siege to his home confirmed an alleged plot to illegally abduct him in spite of his pending suit against his extradition to the US.