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NDLEA pushes for extradition of Senator Kashamu

31 January 2017, 10:02

Lagos  - Nigerian narcotics agents said on Monday they were pushing to extradite a lawmaker to the United States on drugs charges who is said to have inspired the hit television show "Orange is the New Black".

Buruji Kashamu has been wanted for years in connection with a heroin smuggling operation but maintains he is a victim of mistaken identity.

The senator, who represents Ogun state in the upper chamber of parliament, claims his dead brother whom he reportedly resembles ran the international drug ring in the 1990s.

In 2015, Kashamu sued the US government to prevent an "imminent illegal abduction in Nigeria", according to court documents.

But last week, the US Court of Appeals in Chicago tossed out his lawsuit, opening the door for extradition proceedings to continue in Nigeria.

Nigeria's National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is now working on overcoming its own domestic legal hurdles to arrest and extradite Kashamu.

"He has a court order restraining the NDLEA from arresting him, we have also instituted a suit to vacate that order, and the process is ongoing," NDLEA spokesperson Mitchell Ofoyeju told AFP.

"We'll definitely proceed with the extradition proceedings, and once the court has ruled that he can be extradited then we have no choice to enforce the court ruling."

Kashamu was reported as telling Nigeria's Punch newspaper that "there is no extradition that can be brought against me again" and that he would not allow himself to be seized.

"Orange is the New Black" is a hit series based on a best-selling autobiography by Piper Kerman chronicling her time in prison for money laundering after working for a "West African drug lord".

- AFP

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