RE: EMBATTLED KASHAMU ABSENT FROM SENATE SESSION ON WEDNESDAY
Our attention has been drawn to a report in The Punch newspaper as well as the online version that the Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District, Prince Buruji Kashamu, “who was hailed by his colleagues while taking his oaths during the inauguration of the Eighth Senate on Tuesday, was conspicuously absent during plenary on Wednesday”.
We wish to state emphatically that the report is untrue and a mere fabrication. If anything, it is was the reporter that was not at his duty post.
Senator Kashamu was not only at Wednesday’s sitting, he was part of the day’s proceedings from the beginning to the end. He took pictures with some of his colleagues, including former Governor of Benue State, His Excellency, Senator George Akume at the end of proceedings (See attached picture).
He also had lunch with the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, alongside his other colleagues before he left the National Assembly Complex. So where did the reporter get his story? His conduct is very unprofessional, to say the least.
On the comments credited to the spokesman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, that it has not given up on its bad case against Senator Kashamu, we welcome the agency’s resolve to toe the legal path as against its initial illegal and primitive abduction plot which failed woefully.
Like we said before, the NDLEA has no role to play in extradition proceedings until a warrant of arrest has been issued by the court. The whole world is aware that the provisional warrant of arrest purportedly procured by the NDLEA has been nullified by a court of competent jurisdiction. Until that ruling is set aside or stayed, the agency cannot lawfully proceed against Senator Kashamu.
Besides, the NDLEA sent its operatives to London to give evidence in favour of Prince Kashamu in 2002. The NDLEA Chairman wrote a letter mandating its officials to go the Bow Street Magistrate Court, London, to go and testify in the matter on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
It should be noted that the evidence that the NDLEA gave was to the effect that Senator Kashamu was not the person wanted for the drug-related offences.
This, among other pieces of evidence, resulted in the conclusion of the British courts that it was a case of mistaken identity. Even here in Nigeria, the NDLEA has made several depositions and averments on oath exonerating Senator Kashamu of any drug allegations.
So the question is: can the NDLEA take two different positions on the same matter in respect of the same person? How it intends to wriggle out the intricate web of intrigues it has boxed itself remains to be seen.
We asks again: what happens to the principle of res judicata which states that “a final judgment on the merits by a court having jurisdiction is conclusive between the parties to a suit as to all matters that were litigated or that could have been litigated in that suit?”
Media Aide to Senator Buruji Kashamu