Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Senator-elect Buruji Kashamu wanted for US drug deal 'arrested'

24 May 2015, 09:13

Lagos — The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Saturday surrounded the house of senator-elect Buruji Kashamu who is wanted by the United States in a nearly 20-year-old heroin deal.

Kashamu is under house arrest, according to the chairman of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade.

But Kashamu's spokesman, Austin Oniyokor, said, "He has not been arrested but there is a siege to his house and an attempt to forcibly take him." He said the agents did not have an arrest warrant.

Giade said Kashamu, 56, will appear in a federal high court Monday to start extradition proceedings to the United States.

He said agents raided Kashamu's home in Lagos at around 5 a.m., before dawn Saturday. Armed agents were seen surrounding the property Saturday night.

Kashamu has already been suing the court to prevent attempts to extradite him.

A Chicago grand jury in 1998 indicted Kashamu for conspiracy to import and distribute heroin in the U.S. Kashamu has said it is a case of mistaken identity and that prosecutors really want the dead brother he closely resembles.

He said Saturday's development was a political conspiracy, according to his spokesman.

"This latest onslaught is a confirmation of the alleged plot to illegally abduct him in spite of the pending suit against this illegality," Oniyokor said.

It was not clear when the United States filed an extradition request, but the drug agency's spokesman, Ofoyeju Mitchell, said a U.S. extradition request was the reason for Saturday's action.

The move comes days before Jonathan is to step down. President-elect Muhammadu Buhari takes office Friday.

The U.S. had failed to ask Nigeria to extradite Kashamu before now. In September, Chicago Judge Richard Posner refused a motion to dismiss Kashamu's case and quoted the U.S. Justice Department as saying that "the prospects for extradition have recently improved." Posner also noted that "given Kashamu's prominence ... the probability of extradition may actually be low."

A previous request to extradite him from Britain failed in 2003. Kashamu spent five years in a British jail before he was freed over uncertainty about his identity. He was carrying $230,000 when he was arrested there.

A dozen people long ago pleaded guilty in the case including American Piper Kerman, whose memoir was adapted for the Netflix hit "Orange Is The New Black." Kerman's book never identified Kashamu by name, only citing a West African drug kingpin.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has chastised Jonathan for his perceived protection of Kashamu and warned that "drug barons ... will buy candidates, parties and eventually buy power or be in power themselves."

Kashamu has said that Obasanjo did not call him a drug baron when they were allies and while he spent some $20 million ensuring their party's success at 2011 elections.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...