The Government of the United Kingdom has issued a travel ban on Ogun Senator-elect, Prince Buruji Kashamu from entering the country.
The travel advisory (ban), made available to www.upshotreportsonline.com was issued via an “Airlines Alert” and addressed to all airlines operating in Nigeria, was dated April 24, 2015 and states thus; “please be aware of the following persenger,SHODIPE, Buruji Kashamu, Nigerian, who has become a person of interest.
This person is not eligible to travel to the UK. If encountered, please refer him to the RALON on duty.”
The development has further compounded issues for the embattled Senator-elect and chieftain of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who also have a similar ban hanging over his head from the Government of the United States of America, (USA).
It could be recalled that recently, the Government of the United States government formally requested for the extradition of Kashamu, for drug related offences.
Legal Counsel to the Senator-elect, Mr. Ajibola Oluyede, made the disclosure, in a petition to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
In the same petition, Oluyede also accused former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, of being behind the plot to extradite Kashamu to the United States of America through unlawful means.
According to Oluyede, “Kashamu’s enquiry revealed moves by US officials within the region to secure the assistance of the head of the INTERPOL division in Nigeria, Mr. Solomon Arase, (the Acting Inspector General of Police), for the arrest and delivery to the US officials of Kashamu for transportation to the US without following the due process required by the Nigeria Extradition Act.
“Mr. Kashamu’s informant revealed that Arase has confirmed that Donna Chabot approached him in January 2015. The said Ms Chabot is an attaché with the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the American Embassy route Des Almedies BP, 49, Dakar, Senegal and requested that INTERPOL Nigeria assist in the abduction of Kashamu for the purpose of his forcible transportation to the U.S. to face trial before Judge Norgel.”
The name of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cheftain, came up in a Court ruling dated September 25, 2009 by Judge Charles R. Norgle of the United States District Court in Chicago, Illinois, in which the Judge upheld Kashamu’s indictment by the U.S Government on drug trafficking charges and conspiracy to smuggle heroin into the country.
Kashamu was described by the U.S Government then, as the kingpin of the drug cartel.
In his response, Kashamu published several rebuttals in the newspapers and alleged that he was not the one being sought after by the United States Government, but that the alleged crime was committed by one of his brothers who is now dead.
Kashamu, in his defence, also claims that he had been cleared by a British Court and produced what purports to be the decision of a Magistrates’ Court in England.
Kashamu also referred to his issuance of German visa sequel to his clearance by international security agencies as a further proof that he is not a fugitive and that the U.S. may have been looking for a wrong person.
However, the United States Government insisted that the man they are looking for is no other person than Buruji Kashamu, not his brother and that the government of the U.S. still regards him as a drug kingpin and a fugitive under the United States law.
The U.S. further states that it has never withdrawn its warrant of arrest against Kashamu, maintaining further that the charges against Kashamu remain pending and will request for his extradition from Nigeria in due course.
The United States Government also accused Buruji Kashamu of using fraudulent means to obtain a German Visa in 2009.
The U.S government notes in its brief that Kashamu communicated with German officials using the name “Buruji Kashamu Shodipe” instead of Buruji Kashamu.
According to the U.S. government, Kashamu was indicted in the United States under the name “Buruji Kashamu” and the warrant of arrest against him was issued in that same name.
It is the position of the U.S. that any confusion by German officials that led to the issuance of a Schengen visa to Kashamu may have been caused by Kashamu’s use of the surname “Shodipe” in his application and communications with the German consulate.
It is of note that there is a pending criminal action against the Senator-elect before the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois involving fifteen people.
The Case 1:94-cr-00172 is before Hon. Judge Charles R. Norgle. While Kashamu’s other co-conspirators had been jailed, Kashamu’s case is being held under the fugitive Calendar.
In February, 2009, Kashamu hired a team of lawyers to appear for him in the case for the purpose of filing a Motion requesting the Court to quash the arrest warrant which his lawyers led by Pravin B. Rao did.
In the Motion to quash the arrest warrant, Mr. Pravin Rao made copious reference to the United Kingdom’s extradition proceedings in which Kashamu was freed after spending five years in British jail.
His lawyers also pleaded res judicata and argued that the U.K. decisions are final and should therefore, be binding on the U.S.
In its response, the United States government disagreed with Kashamu on all four grounds and argued that Kashamu’s Motion to quash arrest warrant should be denied by the Court.
On September, 25, 2009, the District Court Judge upheld the U.S. position and denied Kashamu’s Motion to quash his arrest warrant.
The judge also declared Buruji Kashamu a fugitive.