Pakistani Bags 18 Months Imprisonment For Heroin Importation

Pakistani Bags 18 Months Imprisonment For Heroin ImportationA Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi in Lagos State has sentenced a Pakistani, Iftikhar M. Arslan, to 18 months imprisonment for importing 25.400kg of high heroin valued at 220million Naira.

The development was revealed in a statement signed by the Head, Public Affairs of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ofoyeju Mitchell.

The convict was charged with a one count charge of unlawful importation of 25.400kg of heroin contrary to and punishable under section 11(a) of the NDLEA Act Cap N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

Iftikhar who claimed to be a medical student, initially pleaded not guilty but changed his plea midway in the trial, pleading for leniency.

Contrarily, his argument was opposed by NDLEA Prosecutor, Mr Owens Fingere, who told the court that the value of the drugs and the fact of the case should be considered in sentencing him.

The presiding judge, Justice Chukwujewu Aneke, while noting that the convict was a first time offender who was remorseful over his action, stated that heroin was a dangerous drug that would have caused serious harm to the country.

The judge said that the court would show some leniency considering the fact that he is a student who deserves a second chance to correct his mistakes. Subsequently, he sentenced him to 18 months imprisonment on Monday.

Iftikhar was arrested by officials of the anti-drug agency at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial city, on April 5, 2014 at age 19 during the inward screening of passengers on a Qatar Airways flight on his way from Doha, Qatar.

“I am a student of Punjab College and I am in Nigeria as a tourist because my friend told me that Victoria Island and Ikoyi are beautiful tourist centres.

“Unfortunately, when I arrived at the Lagos Airport, the heroin was found in my luggage. This is my first time of coming to Nigeria and I had intended to spend a week or two,” Iftikihar reportedly told investigators during his arrest.

The brownish substance that tested positive for heroin was packed in 25 parcels hidden in a smaller bag inside his luggage.

Court Orders NDLEA To Suspend Action On Kashamu

KashamuA Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial capital, has asked the NDLEA to suspend all actions on the move to extradite the Ogun East Senator-elect, Mr Buruji kashamu, to the United States to face trial on alleged drug-trafficking offences.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had earlier said a press statement by the Head, Public Affairs of the NDLEA, Ofoyeju Mitchell, on Tuesday that it had served Kashamu, a notice of application for extradition to the U.S.

Mr Kashamu had replied the notice of extradition served him by the Agency, saying the NDLEA has no role to play in extradition proceedings until a warrant of arrest had been issued by the court.

The presiding Judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, while adjourning hearing in all pending applications on the subject matter till June 19, said that status quo must be maintained till all the applications were decided one way or the other.

Pending before Justice Buba was the committal suit filed by Kashamu against the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Chairman of NDLEA, citing them for contempt of court.

In response, the anti-narcotics Agency had filed preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter.

NDLEA Serves Kashamu Notice Of Extradition

KashamuThe National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has served a notice of application for extradition of the Ogun East Senator-elect, Buruji Kashamu to the United States.

According to a press statement by the Head, Public Affairs of the Agency, Ofoyeju Mitchell, the notice for the extradition was contained in an application made to the Chief Judge, Federal High Court, Abuja in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/479/2015.

The office of the Attorney-General of the Federation is seeking the extradition of Mr. Kashamu to answer alleged drug trafficking charges, in line with the Extradition Act CAP, E25 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (as modified by Extradition Act Modification Order, 2014).

According to him, the notice of the suit was officially served on Kashamu by the NDLEA on 1st of June 2015.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has commended the NDLEA for the bold step taken in the extradition case involving Senator-elect.

The letter of commendation which was signed by the Chairman, House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes; Honourable Jagaba Adams Jagaba, stated that the Agency’s action would go a long way in building the confidence of the international community in Nigeria.

Honourable Jagaba, while commending the officers and men of the anti-narcotics Agency, observed that the action of the NDLEA had sent a strong signal that Nigeria believes in the rule of law.

“This action has sounded a warning that no longer shall any Nigerian be considered to be above the law, no matter how highly placed. It equally points to the fact that no matter how long it takes, the law would catch up with all that has a case to answer. The Agency has shown that it can work without discrimination,” he stated.

The letter further enjoined the Agency not to succumb to blackmail.

“Let me at this juncture, therefore, encourage you not to falter in the face of blackmail. Your detractors will engage in all forms of antics including blackmail to distract you but you must never be deterred. Instead, with every form of distraction, you should be spurred to maintain the dignity of the Agency and do the needful in the interest of Nigerians and humanity,” Jagaba stated.

Kashamu’s Lawyer Moves To Stop Arrest

KashamuSupporters of Ogun State Senator-Elect, Buruji Kashamu have staged a protest at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

They carried placards bearing different inscriptions, all to the effect that he was being hounded illegally.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, had laid siege on his house last week Saturday and placed him under house arrest.

The Spokesman of the agency, Mr Mitchell Ofoyeju had told Channels Television that Mr Kashamu would be brought before the court this morning for the commencement of the extradition proceedings against.

The NDLEA, however, failed to produce the Senator-elect in court as his lawyers demanded to see the arrest warrant on1 which authority the agency was acting. The agency could not provide one.

Channels TV’s judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele who was at the Federal High Court, confirmed from the courts registry that there was no case against Mr Kashamu slated for hearing.

After waiting for the NDLEA to produce a warrant without success, Mr Kashamu’s lawyer, Ajibola Oluyede filed a contempt application against the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Mohammed Adoke and the Chairman of the NDLEA, Mr Ahmadu Giade.

The matter was heard exparte in chambers and not in the open court.

At the end of the hearing, Mr Kashamu’s lawyer told journalists that the court has summoned the AGF and the NDLEA Chairman.

Kashamu Remains Indoor, Insists NDLEA Must Produce Warrant Of Arrest

KashamuEmbattled Ogun State Senator-elect, Buruji Kashamu, has refused to surrender himself to officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, who stormed his Lagos residence to convey him to court for his extradition trial.

Kashamu is insisting that the NDLEA must produce a warrant of arrest in line with the extradition treaty before he can be taken to court.

A short message sent to journalists by Kashamu’s Personal Assistant, Austin Oniyokor, reads: “It has just come to limelight that the NDLEA did not obtain a warrant of arrest from the court as required by the extradition treaty.

“Kashamu’s lawyer, Barrister Ajibola Oluyede, requested from them the court we are going to only to be told that they are just going to file the papers as no court has been assigned with the case or has ordered his arrest.”

Meanwhile, many of his supporters stormed the court on Monday in solidarity with the embattled senator-elect, carrying placards with various inscriptions.

Some of the messages on the placards reads: “Leave Kashamu alone”, “We voted for him, he is our man”, “Kashamu is a great state man”, “Kashamu is not a drug baron”, “Ilegal detention, illegal arrest must stop”.

The Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Mohammed Bello Adoke, had on Saturday said that the arrest of Senator-elect, Kasumu Buruji, is not an extra-judicial action.

According to him a formal request has been made by the American government seeking his extradition and same has been passed to the appropriate legal body.

He added that due process and all legal proceedings would be pursued with respect to his extradition.

The Senator-elect had also in a statement signed by his media aide, described as illegal the decision by the drug law enforcement agency  to surround his house in the early hours of Saturday.

He also accused PDP chieftain, Mr Bode George, whose wife is the Director-General of the Agency, of being behind the action.

NDLEA Explains Why Buruji Kashamu Is Under House Arrest

ndleaThe National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says its action follows a formal request for extradition received from the Embassy of the United States of America pending the arraignment of Senator-elect, Mr. Buruju Kashamu before the Federal High Court on Monday, May 25th, 2015.

Officials of the NDLEA on Saturday May the 23rd, 2015 placed Mr. Kashamu, a senator-elect from Ogun State under house arrest in Lagos.

In a statement by the Head, Public Affairs of the NDLEA, Ofoyeju Mitchell, the agency explained that Mr. Kashamu has been a target of both the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for over 20 years and was indicted in the Northern District of Illinois, United States on charges brought against him by ICE.

The Senator-elect, who U.S. court documents allege was known in his days as the leader of a prolific heroin trafficking ring based in Chicago, Illinois as “God,” “Daddy,” and “Kasmal,” is wanted to stand trial on charges of conspiracy and importation of controlled substances, namely heroin, into the United States dating back to 1994.

The politican, who holds dual Nigerian/Beninese citizenship, has taken multiple preemptive actions to thwart U.S. extradition efforts such as making claims that his is a case of mistaken identity, and that his deceased brother is responsible for the crimes he is being sought after in the U.S.

Mr. Kashamu has filed injunctions in federal court both in the Northern District of Illinois, United States and in Nigeria to prevent his arrest and prosecution.

At the time of his arrest, NDLEA officers allowed Mr. Kashamu’s legal attorneys – Daniel Onamusi and Barrister Oloyede – and close family members including his wife and adult daughters to speak with him and attest to his well-being.

Meanwhile, the NDLEA has given the assurance that Mr. Kashamu will be afforded all the protection of the law and will be given his day in court.

The drug law enforcement agency also dismissed assertions that he would be bundled under cover of darkness and whisked out of the country.