Abuja - A Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed July 1 for ruling on the Federal Government’s application, seeking a Bench warrant of arrest and extradition of Senator Buruji Kashamu representing Ogun East Senatorial District.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole fixed the date at Thursday's hearing of a case filed by the Federal Government seeking to secure legal backing for the extradition of Kashamu.
The U.S. Government had written to the Federal Government for Kashamu's extradition to face drug charges before the Northern Illinois District Court, Eastern Division.
At the resumed sitting, the Counsel to the Federal Government, Mohammed Hassan, urged the court to issue a bench warrant of arrest against Kashamu so that the process for his extradition could commence.
Responding, Kashamu’s counsel, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), argued that two Federal High Courts in Lagos had made orders on the same subject matter, thereby, "extinguishing" the current action.
He urged the Abuja court to give effect to the orders made by the Lagos courts which have coordinate jurisdiction with it and thereby strike out the case as filed by the prosecution.
Hassan, however, urged the court to discountenance Iziyon’s submission on grounds that the Federal High Courts in Lagos had no "supervisory jurisdiction" over the Abuja Federal High Court.
Also read: Kashamu arrested, tried in UK
The prosecution counsel contended that at the time the orders were made in Lagos, the Federal Government had yet to initiate the extradition process.
He, therefore, prayed the court to nullify the orders of the Federal High Courts in Lagos, saying that "a court of coordinate jurisdiction can nullify an order made in error by its sister court."
The extradition application No: FHC/ABJ/CS/479/2015 was signed by the immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN).
Adoke had approached the court with the application dated May 28, following the extradition request by the U.S. Embassy.
Kashamu is alleged to have, between 1992 and 1995, conspired with others to intentionally import "and did impor into the United States" quantities of mixtures containing heroin.
The offence is said to contravene Section 952(a) of Title 21, United States Code, and punishable under Section 960 of the same law.
According to the U.S. charge, upon conviction, the accused is liable to an imprisonment of not more than 10 years or a fine of up to 10 million dollars or both.