Wednesday 2 December 2015

Court restrains FG and NDLEA from seizing properties of alleged drug baron Buruji Kashamu

Buruji Kashamu
Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos, on Tuesday, restrained the Federal Government from seizing Senator Buruji Kashamu’s properties over drug trafficking allegations.

He held that it would mount to an abuse of powers for the respondents to infringe on Kashamu’s property rights without following due process.

The judge, therefore, barred the Attorney-General of the Federation and the National Drug Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) from violating the senator’s rights to own properties.

Kashamu sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining NDLEA and the AGF from taking possession of his belongings.

Kashamu said he learnt of moves by NDLEA and AGF to seize his properties, including a 24-flat housing estate at Egbe and several hectares of land on Lekki Peninsula, Lagos.

According to him, he acquired the properties, which he said were worth N20 billion, by dint of hard work and through his legitimate businesses.

He said contrary to NDLEA’s alleged claim, the properties were not proceeds of drug trafficking.

Kashamu said his right to own properties as guaranteed by sections 43 and 44 of the 1999 Constitution would be breached if the respondents were not perpetually restrained.

Ruling in his favour, Justice Buba held that since previous judgments stopping Kashamu’s extradition had not been discharged, the prosecution cannot take steps against him when the restraining orders were still subsisting.

He said the prosecution was bound to obey the orders until set aside on appeal.
“The judgments of this court are binding on the parties and on this court until set aside on appeal,” he held.
Justice Buba said the Federal Government cannot sieze Kashamu’s assets on the basis of the same allegations that had been decided upon whether rightly or wrongly.
“Consequently, this application has merit. Same is granted in the light of the judgments referred to in this ruling,” Justice Buba said.
Justice Buba had, on June 23, reaffirmed a May 27 order by Justice Okon Abang of the same court stopping Kashamu’s arrest and extradition.

Credit: Nigerian Tribune

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