By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja has threatened to withdraw from an extradition suit brought before him by Senator Buruji Kashamu, seeking to stop the federal government form extraditing him to the United States of America.
The judge who claimed to have given judgement in two suits in 2015 brought before him, by the same plaintiff, said that he will opt out of the fresh suit filed late last year if it is related to extradition matter.
The reaction of the judge followed an observation by counsel to the NDLEA, Joseph Sunday, who drew the attention of the judge, to the fact that he had in 2015, delivered two judgements on the same extradition issue.
The counsel said that the two judgements of the high court have been set aside by the Court of Appeal, Lagos division and that the appeal on them have been filed at the Supreme Court.
Counsel to the NDLEA who commended the judge for raising the issue of proprierty of him adjudicating on the two fresh suits filed by Kashamu in 2018 pleaded with the court to take notice that similar extradition matters by the same Kashamu had been decided.
But Counsel to Kashamu, Ifeoma Esson, insisted that the fresh suit of his client is not related to the issue that brought about the two judgments of Justice Abang delivered in 2015.
The Counsel stated that the current suit was predicated on the unlawful invasion and siege laid on his client’s house for six days by operatives of the NDLEA.
Ifeoma specifically told the court that his client in the fresh suit is challenging the violation of his fundamental right to dignity of person, freedom of movement and urged the court to go ahead with hearing of the new suit.
Kashamu had in the second suit marked FHC/ABJ/CF/530/2018. sued the Attorney General of the Federation and the NDLEA praying the court to prohibit the two respondents from extraditing him to America to face trial in an alleged hard drug offence.
Kashamu applied for order of the court to also stop the two respondents from giving effect to the extradition request of the US government on him.
However, in a brief ruling the judge adjourned the hearing of the substantive matter till 30th Sempter on the ground that the court will proceed on annual vacation by July 8 and that he will be able to write judgements during the vacation.