Controversy surrounding the allegations leveled against the Chairman of Mobilisation and Organisation Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, Buruji Kashamu yesterday took a new dimension as the United States Court sitting in Chicago released his case file number for the first time and urged Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to hand him over.Deputy US court room, Mr. Eric Bright who spoke with Sunday Newswatch in a telephone interview, said there was need for Nigerian government to allow Kashamu to pay for his alleged misdeeds without wasting time.
He dictated Kashamu’ s file case with suit No 94CR172, noting that the PDP chieftain was intentionally delaying the case from proceeding.
Bright said, “We learnt that Alhaji Kashamu is deliberately delaying his case before the court. We are waiting for him to appear because the case before him is still pending. We, therefore urge Nigerian government to release him. We learnt that the man in question is a powerful politician in Nigeria.”
Kashamu, had August 18, this year filed an order of mandamus (motion for dismissal) against his indictment by a US court, for allegedly attempting to import heroin into the country 16 years ago.
But, Justice Richard Norgle in his ruling turned down Kashamu’ s request and urged him to submit himself for trial.
Kashamu was indicted by a US court in 1998, which alleged that he was a key player of an international smuggling ring dealing of narcotics.
He was charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Chicago along thirteen persons, with conspiracy to import heroin into the United States and distribute.
The Royal Court of Justice in England presided over by Lord Justice Pill and Mr. Justice Bell had, in 2003, granted unconditionally release to Kashamu when the US Justice Department could not substantiate its claims that he (Kashamu) was the most wanted Alhaji who was allegedly mentioned by others arrested as their principal conspirator.
The UK authority declared that it was discovered that Kashamu’s case was a case of mistaken identity, stressing that the Chicago prosecutors at that time had also tainted their eyewitness identification evidence by failing to disclose that one Mr. Nicolas Fillmore, one of the co-defendants, failed to pick him (Kashamu) out of a photo line-up.
But, the Chicago District Court Judge Norgle who, apart from faulting the British government’s handling of an extradition case filed against Prince Kashamu, claimed that it was the testimony and evidence produced by the Nigerian government that led to his release in England.
The judge also said that Kashamu’s status as a political figure in Nigeria and his relationship with President Goodluck Jonathan would not make an extradition attempt against him successful in England.
Prince Kashamu, in a statement through his Attorney’s chambers in the United States has said, “I am not a drug peddler as the US court claimed. I have been the one who has been going to various courts in the US since 2009 to remove the stain of the purported indictment which was erroneously made against me because I am convinced that such a move would not only clear my name but also put a stop to the blackmail and the campaign of calumny against my person.”