Law News
Kashamu’s lawyer insists Adoke’s friend leaked abduction plot

The controversy over the leakage of the information of an alleged plot to abduct and extradite the Ogun-East senator-elect, Buruji Kashamu, to the United States of America in order to face trial over alleged drug-trafficking offence, deepened on Thursday as his lawyer, Ajibola Oluyede, maintained that the plot was leaked to him by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Godwin Obla.

Obla is believed to be close the Attorney General of the Federation and Minster of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), from whom he (Obla) allegedly got the information.

Obl, who denied having or leaking the information, had dragged Oluyede before the Legal Practitioner Disciplinary Committee, accusing him of fabricating the story to make his client’s case look good.

He had said he could never have had and shared such a piece of information with Oluyede, whom he said was no more than a professional acquaintance to him.

The controversy started with a petition dated April 15, 2015, which was authored and sent to the National Human Rights Commission by Oluyede on behalf of Kashamu.

Oluyede had stated in the petition that Obla leaked the information to him while they were both on a flight from Abuja to Lagos.

Following Obla’s denial of leaking the information, Oluyede again reacted by insisting that the information was unsolicited when Obla offered it to him as a “whistle blower.”

Oluyede said in a statement, “I have just seen Mr. Obla’s reaction to the letter written by my firm to the NHRC. I assume from the tone of the rejoinder that Mr. Obla is under fire for leaking this information to me and I am therefore not surprised.

“It is true that Mr. Obla and I are only acquaintances and this was the reason I thought of him as a conscientious and honorable whistle blower when he gave me this unsolicited information.

“I had, in the matter he referred to in his rejoinder, begun to admire his candour and independent thinking. Even at that time he was very open about his candid views about the facts of that case.

“I naturally informed my client about the information as soon as Mr. Obla offered it and when the matter developed, I had no hesitation in confirming it to debunk the growing impression that he was merely imagining the matter.

“I sympathise with Chief Obla if my duty to my client has brought him discomfort. I, however, see his resort to abusive language and threats as totally unjustifiable and untenable.”

Oluyede stated in the petition to the NHRC that Obla told him that as a friend to Adoke, he (Obla) witnessed an occasion when former President Olusegun Obasanjo, a political adversary of Kashamu, was mounting pressure on the AGF to ensure the extradition of the senator-elect to the US.

But Obla said in his petition to the LPDC in which he accused Oluyede of fabricating the story, that he did not know anything beyond what was reported in the media about the personality of Kashamu.

He said he had “never had any connection nor shown any particular or special interest beyond the media effects of consistent reportage on the person of Kashamu and his associates, including the said Prince Ajibola Oluyede, his lawyer, with whom I only had a brief encounter in court in the year 2013 in the course of my professional duties in suits totally unconnected with Kashamu.”

Meanwhile a group, Civil Society Network against Corruption, has also petitioned the LPDC, accusing Kashamu’s team of lawyers of abuse of judicial process.

The petition dated May 11, 2015 arose from what the group perceived as multiplicity of suits filed by Kashamu’s lawyers to scuttle any purported move to extradite the senator-elect to the US to face alleged drug charges.

The group stated in the petition dated May 11, 2015 that, “In a suit, Mr. Kashamu sued the Attorney General of the Federation at the Lagos Judicial Division of the Federal High Court.

“In the said suit, the plaintiff challenged the moves to extradite him to the United States to stand trial for drug trafficking. In spite of the defence of the AGF that there was neither a request for extradition of the plaintiff by the United States nor was the Nigerian government planning to surrender him for extradition, the trial judge, Justice Okechukwu Okeke (now retired) ruled that Mr. Kashamu should not be extradited.”

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