BEVERLY HILLS, July 26, (THEWILL) – A former senator, businessman and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Buruji Kashamu has gone into hiding over renewed moves by the federal government to grab and extradite him to the United States where he has been a fugitive for over two decades over alleged narcotics trafficking and money laundering.
Kashamu has been fighting his extradition to the United States using multiple lawsuits in Nigeria to frustrate attempts by the U.S. government to remove him under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) between both countries.
Sources close to him told THEWILL that he is not taking any chances after he learned of a reenergized bid by the office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice to help the Americans arrest and extradite him “by all means necessary.”
Kashamu has not been seen in public in days with the sources saying he is using contracting the deadly coronavirus as a cheeky plot to keep authorities at bay at least for now.
As at the time of writing this report, his whereabouts in Lagos remained unclear.
While one of the sources said Kashamu, who lives in Lekki-Lagos, is self-isolating at home, another source said he has moved to another facility.
A Federal High Court presided over by Justice Okon Abang in May restrained the federal government from extraditing him to the United States in view of subsisting judgements and orders in favour of the politician, which has remained unchallenged. The ruling was made in a lawsuit instituted by the businessman challenging a letter by Shehu Boding, a senior official in the office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice, requesting the U.S. embassy in Nigeria to forward a fresh extradition application for his removal.
The very wealthy Nigerian politician, who inspired the Netflix series, ‘Orange Is The New Black’ has been a fugitive from the U.S. justice system in Chicago, Illinois for at least 20 years. He claims the drug trafficking offence he is being pursued for was masterminded and executed by his look-alike brother, Adewale Kashamu, even though now arrested and convicted members of the syndicate, “independently identified Kashamu, through his arrest photograph, as the person whom they knew as “Alaji.”