Following a petition filed to the office of the Attorney General of the Nation, Abubarka Malami, by a civil society group, CADOIV, former senator, Buruji Kashamu, might once again be having to battle to keep his freedom as the petitioners are asking the authority to take a step towards ensuring Kashamu stands his trial.
Centre Against Injustice & Domestic Violence, CADOIV, in its petition emphasized why acts capable of undermining due process or encouraging criminal tendencies should be curtailed. And relating this Senator Buruji, the group expresses worry over how the senator has been going around displaying ill gotten wealth despite being on wanted list in certain places around the world. The petitioners further asked the office of the Attorney General to wake up to its responsibilities.
Read the letter here..
C/O of G.H Agoro Chambers
8, Ijaye Road, First Gate, Ogba.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 7th February, 2020
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL & MINISTER OF JUSTICE
MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
SHEU SHAGARI WAY,
GENERAL AREA, ABUJA
PROSECUTION OF MESSERS BURUJI KASHAMU (OR ESHO JINADU)
CADOIV is an initiative of group of concerned professionals from various fields who feel the need to curtail the growing phenomenon of violence and sundry impunities in our society.
Our strategy is dealing with monster include, but not limited to advocacy, counseling, mediations, litigation, public enlightenment /education, training, seminars and symposium.
Part of our mandate also involves calling the attention of government to acts capable of undermining due process and criminal tendencies in our nation.
It is on the strength of the latter focus that we feel this petition becomes extremely necessary and begs for urgent attention in view of the current events in the country. Of late the social media has been inundated with some level display of ill gotten wealth by one of the alleged drug baron, one who has been declared by your office and which has also attracted the attention of the United States of America and the rest of the world.
There are various versions of the video in circulation on the social media in which a former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Buruji Kashamu (whom a cross section of the media also believes answers to the same name as ESHO JINADU, especially in the social circuit) was spraying bundles not wads of on popular musician at a public function.
This wanton display of vulgar opulence we need should have attracted the attention of security agencies, and a source of worries that this was ignored, especially by a man who has been declared severally as an alleged Drug Lord and on the wanted list of the American government. It is horse of another color to know that the man doing this parading himself openly without let or hindrance – is allegedly associated with various crimes in several countries including the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Togo and Benin Republic.
We found this absurdity odious and repulsive to a nation that is struggling to present itself to the rest of the world in its battle against corruption.
We are of the opinion that the legal apparatus of the country should be given sufficient teeth to bite, and its operatives encouraged to functions at their optimum.
Allowing and or pretending not to see such flagrant display does not seem to portray Nigeria in good light among the comity of Nations. It is time security agencies woke up to their responsibilities and act appropriately.
We are beginning to get worried that the legal system in Nigeria has lost interest in matters as it relates to the former Senator as most litigations in and around him have been kept perpetually in abeyance.
Government’s inactions or seeming lethargy only gives fillip to the assumption that crime pays and it is the surest way to acquire wealth in this country. This is a sad commentary on our political, democratic and justice system.
There are plethora of allegations against this same Buruji Kashamu which are yet to be dispensed with. There are narratives of a young man who became a fugitive when he smuggled 6.6kg of heroin into the United State of America 1994. But he escaped while his alleged co-offenders were arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment in America. Following Kashamu’s escape, the US government in 2015 dispatched to Nigerian government a request for his extradition; this was according to the NDLEA.
The hard facts! Mr. Kashamu still remains the subject of extradition proceedings in the United States. A range of evidence unearthed through investigations showed that Mr. Kashamu has a case to answer in the United States. Heroin, which he smuggled into the US in 1994, is a schedule 1 narcotic controlled substance under the laws of the USA. His co-criminals in the drug saga had pleaded guilty of the offences. Among those who pleaded guilty was US citizen, Piper Kerman, whose prison memoir was adapted for a movie entitled: Orange is the New Black.
Thus, it is unarguable that there is still valid and subsisting indictment against the Buruji Kashamu in the United States’ District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
He was said to have been charged on March 16, 1994, in the suit headed USA vs. Buruji Kashamu & Ors, with charge No. 94 CR 172 following the seizure of 6.6 kilogram of heroin alleged to emanate from him.
The applicant Buruji Kashamu was further charged with a second superseding indictment filed on May 21, 1998, for conspiracy to import heroin into USA, following repeated seizures of heroin similarly alleged to be emanating from him.
According to the NDLEA, a copy of the second superseding indictment and Arrest warrant for the fugitive issued by the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois is contained in Exhibit NDLEA 1.
NDLEA gave graphic details of why the United States is desperate to seek the extradition of Senator Buruji Kashamu from Nigeria. In court papers filed by the NDLEA to oppose Buruji’s legal bid to stop the extradition, the anti-narcotic drug tsar said Buruji was being wanted in the USA because of the 6.6kg of heroin he allegedly imported into the country in 1994.
The agency claimed that the Senator, who represented Ogun East Senatorial District in the 8th Assembly, imported the hard drug into the USA as the head of a large drug smuggling syndicate operating in Africa, Asia, Europe and America at the period.
In the 54-paragraph counter affidavit filed at the court, to debunk the innocence of the Senator, the NDLEA averred that Kashamu was indicted for hard drug offences in the USA and that contrary to his depositions, the applicant has never been exonerated of any drug or related offence by any court of Nigeria, the United States of America (USA) or the United Kingdom (UK).
But for the Judgment of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, in 2015, in two separate judgments, which barred the Federal Government from extraditing Kashamu, the lewd money-spraying senator ought to be behind the bars in the US like his co-travelers in the drug cartel.
The two judgments were however on May 4, quashed and set aside by the Court of Appeal on the ground that they were based on hearsay evidence and suppression of facts by Kashamu.
The Senator has since approached the Supreme Court to challenge the decision of the Court of Appeal which cleared the coast for the Federal Government to extradite him to the US. We urge the Supreme Court to quickly dispense with Buruji’s case so as for him to go and answer to the crimes he committed on Uncle Sam’s territory
Again, last year, a Judge of the Chicago Court of Appeal, 7th Circuit, Richard Posner, quoted the US Justice Department as saying that the prospects of Mr. Kashamu’s extradition had improved. It added that if it is proved that Kashamu was the ringleader of the heroin cartel, he could face up to life imprisonment should he end up in jail for and challenged him to come to Chicago to prove his innocence in court. Kashamu’s cooked up story of mistaken identity did not sway the American authority. That is late brother, who resembled him very well, was the suspect in the US heroin smuggling did not add up. It only remains Nigerians once again of the story of the late Senate President, Evan Enwerem. When he was marred in certificate scandal, Evans told us it was not him but his twin brother, named Evan! The rest is history as they say. As no one came out to claim he knew Enwerem’s twin brother (he actually had none), no one has told Nigerians that Khasamu has this brother of his he claimed in his story.
As the Chairman of the Group Kasmal SAL in the Republic of Benin, his atrocities are said to be legendary, posing and hiding businessman. It was too late by the time the authorities of that country discovered crimes beneath the façade of business. As usual, before his arrest, the fugitive bird took off.
Similarly, his dossier is said to be in heaps in Togo. The French neighbor, like Benin Republic, was in the dark on the activities of the drug lord. When the security agencies in that country discovered the sordid detail; that Kashamu was masquerading as businessman but underneath spreading the network of drug cartel and distributing same in their country, Esho Jinadu once again disappeared from that territory, never to visit it again.
Undoubtedly, criminal politics and raw cash have both saving grace of Mr. Kashamu in the battle for his extradition. He needed political protection and he joined politics. He contest election and won a Senate seat, all with his deep pocket. Under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, he became a big player in the PDP and eventually became the leader of the party in the South-West, a development that infuriated former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who hails from the same state with the drug-dealer.
The former president famously complained in his letter to Mr. Jonathan that he could not dwell in the same political party with a felon. Not done, Obasanjo did a followed it up by x-raying Kashamu in his memoirs – My Watch, in three volumes. Obasanjo angrily tore his party card and left the PDP. Kashamu approached a court, though vainly, to thwart the release of Obasanjo’s memoirs. He consequently sued for libel but later withdrew the case.
Since the end of the 8th Assembly, Kashamu has not visibly participated in political activities, though still a PDP member. Neither has he been a critic the present government of President Muhammadu Buhari. This seems obvious. The present government does not condone corrupt politician like him.
Besides, he fears that his extradition case, which is temporarily interred, may be exhumed. In fact, he openly supports the administration in his bid to keep the Federal Government on his side and to keep himself out of the reach of the long arms of the law.
If truly, Kashamu believed that he has no case to answer in the US, Togo and the next-door-neighbour country, Benin Republic, buying a ticket and jumping on the aircraft to Chicago should pose no problem for this super-rich socialite. He should just visit any of those countries to prove his innocence.
Otherwise, Buruji Kashamu remains a criminal, always on the run! Buruji can run. Buruji can’t hide. Now is the time for the authority to clean the nation’s soiled linen by handing over the fugitive in our midst. And stop this obscenity!
Comrade Gbenga Soloki
Acting Chairman (EFCC)
Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Miscellaneous Offence Commission (ICPC)
Director General, Department of State Security (DSS)
Inspector General of Police (IGP)