The Appeal Court sitting in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria in two consolidated judgments on Friday set aside the judgment of Justice Okon Abang of Federal High Court which on 27 May 2015 perpetually restrained the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, and other agencies of the Federal Government from arresting, restraining or otherwise effecting the extradition of Senator Buruji Kashamu to the United States to face drug trafficking charges leveled against him.
The Appellate Court also set aside the order of Justice Abang that nullified the warrant issued for the arrest of Senator Kashamu by another judge of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, to pave way for the commencement of extradition proceedings against the senator at the Federal High Court Abuja.
In an unanimous lead Judgment delivered by Hon Justice Yagarta Nimpar to which the other justices in the panel of three, Justices Joseph Ikyegh and Anthony Ogakwu concurred, the Appeal Court upheld the argument of counsel to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN that Justice Abang was in error in granting some of the injunctive reliefs sought by Senator Kashamu upon inadmissible evidence.
The court held that the trial judge, having struck out several paragraphs in the affidavit relating to allegations that General Olusegun Obasanjo was behind the travails of the serving senator and the alleged plans to forcibly abduct him and extradite him to the United States to face drug related charges, the same court was wrong to have retained other paragraphs of the same affidavit containing hearsay allegations against Mr Dapo Abiodun and Chief Godwin Obla SAN.
The court observed that Justice Abang relied heavily on speculations and conjectures in arriving at his judgment which was not permissible in law.
The court further berated Justice Abang for not giving the counsel from the Attorney General’s chambers the opportunity to file a counter affidavit in opposition to the case file presented by Senator Kashamu when under the rules, they still had three days to react to the processes, adding that this infraction nullified the entire proceedings.
In conclusion, the Court allowed the appeals, set aside the judgment and ruling delivered by Justice Abang on the 27th day of May and on the 8th day of June 2015 respectively.
It also set aside the consequential order by Justice Abang in which he nullified the warrant of arrest issued by Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court, Lagos for the arrest and commencement of extradition proceedings against Senator Kashamu at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Senator Kashamu now representing Ogun East in the upper chamber of the National Assembly was represented on the appeal by three Senior Advocates-Prince Lateef Fagbemi, Chief Akin Olujinmi, and Alhaji Hakeem Afolabi.