The Federal Government has hired a prominent Lagos lawyer and member of the inner bar, Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN) to lead its legal team to tackle lawmaker representing Ogun State at the upper chamber of the National Assembly, Senator Buruji Kashamu over his on-going legal move to halt his extradition to the United States of America (USA) for prosecution.
Kashamu himself had hired three top lawyers including former Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Akinlolu Olujinmi (SAN) tolead his legal team preparatory to a legal battle at the Court of Appeal between him and the Federal Government over the plans by the latter to extradite him.
The office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice filed the appeal on behalf of the Federal Government against the Judgment of Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court which put the planned extradition on hold through a restraining order.
The returning of parties in the legal battle to the appellate court followed the withdrawal of all motions filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja by Senator Kashamu in which he sought court order to stop the alleged plan by government to forcefully abduct him and ferry him to America against subsisting court orders.
Federal High Court judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, had struck out the motions following their withdrawal by Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN) on behalf of the Senator representing Osun East Senatorial district in the Senate.
Olujimi, a former AGF and Minister of Justice said that he withdrew the motions following affidavit filed at the Court in Abuja by the Federal Government and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) that they will not extradite the senator until all the court cases are disposed of by courts.
“I believe the next appropriate step to take in the circumstances and in view of the assurance that my client will not be extradited is to go back to the Court of Appeal to continue with the appeal filed by the appellant”.
“So, we are back at the Court of Appeal instead of dissipating energies at the Federal High Court, Abuja on motions.
The AGF in the appeal is praying the appellate court to set aside the judgment of justice Buba on the ground of miscarriage of justice.
The AGF is contending that Kashamu suppressed facts before the lower court to secure the restraining order against his extradition.
The office of the AGF said that a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Emeka Ngige, will lead the Federal Government legal team in the Appeal Court along with other senior lawyers from the Federal Ministry of Justice.
Three senior lawyers, Akin Olujimi (SAN), Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) and Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN) have already been lined up by Senator Kashamu to defend him in the appeal suit.
The Federal Government is planning to extradite Kashamu to the USA to answer criminal charges on his alleged involvement and indictment in hard drugs offences.
The American Government had approached the Nigerian Government to extradite the Senator but the Senator through his counsel rushed to the Federal High Court with complaints that due process of law was not followed in the extradition process.
He specially alleged that no court order was obtained before the move to extradite him was being executed.
A Federal high court had in a ruling by Justice Ibrahim Buba put the extradition on hold pending the time the government will follow the due process of law.
Meanwhile, hearing in the appeal is expected to resume in full any moment following the resumption of the Appeal Court from the yearly vacation.