The government of the United States of America has begun
fresh moves to extradite Senator-elect, Buruji Kashamu to
face drug trafficking charges, which he has been evading
for several years now.
This was revealed by his lawyer, Mr. Ajibola Oluyede, in a
petition to the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC.
In the petition, Oluyede also accused former president,
Olusegun Obasanjo, of being behind the plot to extradite
According to Oluyede, “Kashamu’s enquiry revealed that
indeed there had been moves by US officials within the
region to secure the assistance of the head of the
INTERPOL division in Nigeria, Mr. Solomon Arase, a Deputy
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
“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.”
According to Saharareporters, the name of the self-
acclaimed philanthropist and a stalwart of the Peoples
Democratic Party, PDP, 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 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 matter is far from over as the United States
government insists that the man the U.S government is
looking for is no other person than Buruji Kashamu, not his
brother and that the government of the U.S. still regards
Buruji Kashamu as a drug kingpin and a fugitive from 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 has 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.
Saharareporters investigation has revealed that there is
indeed, a pending criminal action against Mr. Buruji 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
coconspirators 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.
However, Kahamu’s lawyers filed another Motion praying
the Court to reconsider its decision of September 25, 2009.
Trouble started for Kashamu when in March 1994,
defendant Kary Hayes, a passenger arriving at O’Hare
International Airport (“O’Hare”) on a flight from Zurich,
Switzerland, was arrested after he tried to smuggle into the
United States a suitcase containing approximately 14.16
pounds of heroin. Hayes was one of a long line of couriers
in a heroin smuggling operation allegedly led by Kashamu.
The government charged Hayes and other couriers after
this initial arrest. Many of these couriers cooperated and
provided information about their contacts with Kashamu.
On May 21, 1998, a grand jury charged Kashamu and
others in a Second Superseding Indictment with conspiracy
to import heroin into the United States in violation of Title
21, United States Code, Section 963. Between July 7, 1998
and January 27, 1999, nine of the fourteen defendants
named in the Second Superseding Indictment pleaded
guilty. These nine defendants admitted their participation in
the heroin smuggling organization and all acknowledged
that Kashamu, the man they called “Alaji” or “God,” was the
person ultimately in charge of the heroin smuggling
organization. Some of these couriers, including defendants
Catherine Cleary Wolters and Nicholas Fillmore, Jr., had
visited with Kashamu at his residence in Benin in
connection with the heroin smuggling organization.
One of the couriers, defendant Ellen Wolters, had a
romantic relationship with Kashamu. The smuggling trips
and trips to visit Kashamu in Benin were documented by,
among other things, money transfer orders from Western
Union and American Express, flight records, credit card
charges, hotel records, and telephone call detail records.
The telephone records, for example, reflected calls from the
couriers to Kashamu’s residence in Benin.
Kashamu was ordered detained following his December
1998 arrest and he was incarcerated in London’s Brixton
Prison during the US Requests For Drug Baron Senator-
Elect Kashamu’s Extraditionpendency of extradition proceedings
based on the government’s warrant in the instant case.