The Supreme Court, Tuesday fixed July 30 as the fresh hearing date in an appeal filed by Senator Buruji Kashamu in which he is praying the apex court to stop the federal government from extraditing him to the United States of America (USA) for trial in an alleged hard drug trafficking offense.
Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) are the key respondents in the appeal filed by Kashamu to stop the execution of two Appeal Court judgments granted against him.
The fresh hearing date has been communicated by the court through the issuance of hearing notices to the parties involved in the legal tussle.
The Apex Court is to review the two judgments delivered in favour of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) by the Lagos division of Court of Appeal on May 4, last year.
Kashamu had in his notice of appeal to the Supreme Court complained that the Court of Appeal erred in law by voiding and setting aside the two judgments of the Federal High Court, Abuja which barred the Federal Government from going ahead with the planned extradition.
The senator is praying the Apex Court to also set aside the decisions of the Court of Appeal as they affected him.
But the AGF who is acting on behalf of the Federal Government has joined legal issues with him with a counter prayer that the Apex Court should uphold the judgments of the Court of Appeal which cleared impediments preventing the extradition plan.
The AGF claimed that the Appeal Court was right in setting aside the judgments of the High Court because they were based on hearsay evidence of Kashamu before the court.
The AGF urged the Supreme Court to allow the judgments of the Court of Appeal to enable the Federal government extradite the Senator to USA to prove his innocence or otherwise in the hard drug trafficking criminal charge filed against him by the American government since 2015 when he was alleged to have escaped to Nigeria.
Legal luminary, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN is leading the legal team of the Senator while Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN, is leading the Federal Government legal team at the Apex Court.
The Court of Appeal had on May 4 cleared the impediments for the federal government to extradite the senator, who had engaged government in a long drawn legal battle since 2014.
The appellate court in the two separate judgments voided and set aside all orders made by a Federal High Court between 2014 and 2017 restraining the government from proceeding with the extradition.
Justice Joseph Ikyeghi in the judgments marked CA/L/1030/15 and CA/L/1030A/15 in the appeal filed by the AGF held that the orders granted Kashamu by Justice Okon Abang were invalid and unknown to laws because they were based on hearsays and speculations by Senator Kashamu.
The court held that the hearsay that a former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was instigating the extradition was not established under any law.
The appeal court said that an affidavit deposed to by the senator on the issue was worthless and not in compliance with Evidence Act because the senator himself claimed that he was told by several persons who were not called to testify in court.
Justice Ikyeghi held that Justice Abang in his two judgments on the issue erred in law by playing undue reliance on affidavit that offended Evidence Act to give judgment against the Federal government. Consequently, the order of injunction stopping the extraction process was voided and set aside.
Justice Ikyeghi had agreed with counsel to the Federal Government Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN, that a statutory body like the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) can only be prohibited from performing its statutory functions based on facts and not hearsays and speculations as in the instant case.
Lagos To Close Marine Beach Bridge For Five Months
The Lagos State Government on Sunday announced a plan to effect partial closure of the Marine Beach Bridge, Apapa, to vehicular movement, from May 27 to Oct. 21.
The state Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, made the disclosure in a statement in Lagos.
He said that the closure would be to enable repair of the bridge which, he said, was long overdue.
“The repair by the Federal Ministry of Works is long overdue and is vital for the safety of the people of Lagos State, especially motorists that ply the bridge to access different parts of the state.
“Necessary palliative works have been carried out on all alternative routes around the construction site to make them to be in good condition to ease movement during the construction period.
“The repair work, which comprise bearing and expansion joint replacement, is planned to be executed in two phases, with each phase focusing on one lane of the bridge at a time.
” The first phase will be handling the lane inbound Apapa while the second phase will be designated to work on the lane that conveys vehicles outside the axis,” he said.
Oladeinde said that the partial closure of the bridge by Total Gas, inward Apapa, would last for five months.
The commissioner said that the repair was in line with the vision of providing a seamless transportation system in the metropolis.
According to him, motorists inward Wharf Road would be diverted to the other section of the bridge outward Apapa.
Oladeinde said that a contraflow of 200 metres had been designed for vehicles to realign with a proper direction inward Ajegunle or Wharf Road, Apapa.
He said that motorists descending to Total Gas would drive without any hindrance.
The commissioner said that operatives of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority would be stationed at the construction locations to ease traffic.
Oladeinde appealed to motorists and residents of the area to cooperate with traffic management agencies deployed to the areas.
“The state government expresses its commitment to providing a transportation system that will meet the needs of a larger population in an emerging smart city,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Public Affairs Unit of the State Ministry of Transportation (MOT) had on March 27 announced the closure of the Marine Bridge, partially from March 28 to Aug. 15 for repair.
However, on March 28, the ministry suspended the plan due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cops Chasing Suspected Kidnappers Shoot Teenager Performing Ablution
A teenager, Sadiq Abubakar-Ibrahim, has undergone surgery at the National Hospital, Abuja after he was shot by policemen attached to the Special Tactical Squad.
According to PUNCH Metro, the victim was performing ablution around 1 pm in his place of residence in the Gwarinpa area on Monday, May 18, 2020, when the policemen scaled the fence into the compound.
They were said to have opened fire on Sadiq, who took to his heel thinking that the invaders were armed robbers or kidnappers.
Our correspondent learnt that the policemen claimed that they were after a suspected kidnapper, who allegedly entered the house.
The policemen were said to have arrested all male occupants of the house, including the victim, and detained them at the Guzate Police Station.
Sadiq’s family member, Fatima Babashehu, told our correspondent that after much pleading, the policemen released the victim for medical attention.
She said the police had refused to check on the victim or pay his medical bills since he was admitted last week Monday.
Babashehu stated, “Sadiq’s mother was beside the fence of the house trying to make barbeque fire last Monday when she heard people shouting and jumping over the neighbour’s fence into their house and she ran into the kitchen and closed the door.
“The men started banging the door and asking the occupants to open the door, and when they opened the door, the men dragged everybody out and searched for other members of the household.
“While they went round, they saw Sadiq, where he was performing ablution beside the house, but on sighting them, Sadiq thought they were armed robbers, he got scared and jumped over the fence to the neighbour’s house on the right side, but the invaders shot him in his hand.
“They followed him and started shooting so the neighbours gave Sadiq up and the owner of the house and two of his sons were also arrested. They brought everybody out and gathered them at the dining area and took all the male occupants away.
“Nobody knew where they came from at first; we thought they were kidnappers or armed robbers, because of the way they scaled the fence; they were in mufti and jackets. We started making calls to find out who took our people and we were able to confirm that they were policemen.
“We made more calls and we were able to gather that they came from the Guzate Police Station. We learnt that they were tracing a kidnapper, who was demanding ransom, and his location showed our house.
“We were taken to the commander of the squad and he told us that the officers told him a different story when they got to the station. He said a kidnap took place in Lokoja but the negotiator was around our house and when they traced him, they saw the kidnapper jumping into the house. He said the officers told him that it was not a gunshot that injured Sadiq’s hand, but a barbwire on the fence, while he was scaling the fence into the neighbour’s house.
“When we got to the police station, we saw Sadiq bleeding without any medical attention and we pleaded that he should be taken to hospital, but we were chased out on the grounds that we could not teach them their job.
“We were later made to sign an undertaking that we were the ones, who requested to take him to hospital, and I told Sadiq’s dad that if we should leave him with the police, he would die; so, we decided to take him to hospital and we requested that a police officer should follow us, because it was a gunshot injury and no hospital would attend to him without a police report or officer.
“They agreed that an officer would follow us and we drove to the National Hospital, Abuja, but when we got there, the officer was asked to write a statement, but he refused and we were told that they would not admit Sadiq until the officer submitted his particulars and phone number so they could reach him.
“Sadiq’s uncle was the one, who wrote the name and phone number of the police officer and the division he is attached to before he was attended to; and the officer left immediately and we have not seen him or any other police personnel since then.
“Sadiq is billed for surgery because the bullet pierced his bone and shattered it. We have not heard anything from the police; they did not reach out to us to know about the hospital bill.”
When contacted, the FCT police spokesman, Anjuguri Manzah, referred our correspondent to the force spokesperson, Frank Mba.
When Mba was contacted, his telephone was not reachable and an SMS requesting his comment on the matter had not been replied to as of the time of filing this report.
All 215 UK Returnees Test Negative, Discharged
It was an atmosphere of celebration Saturday morning as the 215 returnees from the UK received a clearance certificate from the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), at their Abuja Isolation Center.
All the returnees, according to the clearance certificate tested NEGATIVE to the Coronavirus.
They were subsequently discharged.