The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday ordered Senator Buruji Kashamu to submit himself to the police for investigation in an alleged attempt to assassinate a House of Representatives member, Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba gave the order yesterday while delivering judgment in a fundamental human rights suit brought by the senator against the police, Department of State Services (DSS) and Adebutu.
Justice Dimgba who refused to stop the police from investigating Kashamu on the alleged crime, however held that any attempt by security agents to arrest the senator and extradite him to the United States of America to face alleged drug related offences is unlawful and deemed to be in flagrant disobedience of court orders.
Delivering judgment in a suit filed by the senator, the judge held that the police under the 1999 Constitution and Police Act have statutory powers to invite any Nigerian for interrogation on any criminal allegation.
The judge in refusing the reliefs sought by Kashamu said the lawmaker did not place sufficient materials before the court upon which an order of perpetual injunction can be issued against the police on his invitation.
Dimgba held that based on the materials placed before the court, the fear expressed by the senator that the police wanted to use the petition as a ploy to extradite him to the US to face drug charges was unfounded and has no foundation.
In refusing relief one of the applicant, the court held that the police have the power to interrogate based on any suspicion and that any attempt to curtail police powers that regard was dangerous.
The court further held that the petition dated August 16, 2016 authored by the House of Representatives member that the senator attempted to assassinate him in Port Harcourt has nothing to do with the alleged drug case in the US.
The court held that whatever might have been his experience in the past in relation to his extradition cannot be used to remove the statutory function of the police in investigation of an assassination attempt.
“I do not see how the police can be faulted by acting within the constitution to invite the senator. I do not believe that the allegations of ploy to extradite the applicant to the US is justified here.
“Police are bound to set up an investigating panel and the senator is bound to submit himself to the organs of the police including honouring the letter of investigation.”
The court however said the fears of the senator that he could be arrested, detained and extradited to the US is understandable, going by part of the affidavit of the petitioner that says the senator must travel to the US to exonerate himself from drug-related allegations which according to him is a dent on the image of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which they both belong.
Justice Dimgba however, said even though he has ordered the senator to submit himself to the police for investigation on assassination allegation, based on previous judgment of the Federal High Court in Lagos, upon submitting himself for investigation the police cannot arrest, detain or extradite him to the US and it would be unlawful for any other agency to assist the police in repatriating him to the US in view of the subsisting court judgment.
He held that what Kashamu is being investigated on by the police is alleged assassination which he held has nothing to do with the alleged drug offence in the US
Dimgba therefore held that it would be unlawful for the respondents to breach the court’s order.
07 July, 2017