(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Nigeria's antidrug trafficking agency said Sunday that it had received a formal request from the United States to extradite a senator-elect who is wanted in Washington on drug-related charges.
"The fact is that a formal request for (Buruji Kashamu's) extradition had been received from the embassy of the United States of America," National Drug Law Enforcement Agency spokesman Ofoyeju Mitchell said in a statement.
He added that Kashamu had been on a U.S. list of wanted persons.
Kashamu was placed under house arrest ahead of formal appearance in court on Monday.
Mitchell asked him to trust the judgment of the Nigerian judicial system before which he hopes to fight his extradition.
"We expect Kashamu € as a distinguished senator-elect € to demonstrate ample confidence in the Nigerian judicial system and stop the blame game," Mitchell said.
He added that Kashamu was indicted in the Northern District of Illinois.
According to U.S. court documents, Kashamu in his days as the leader of a prolific heroin trafficking ring based in Chicago was known as 'God Daddy' and 'Kasmal'.
"He is wanted to stand trial on charges of conspiracy and importation of controlled substances, namely heroin, into the U.S. in 1994," Mitchell said.
He added that the senator-elected € who holds dual Nigerian-Beninese citizenship € had taken multiple preemptive actions to thwart U.S. extradition efforts.
He said these actions included making fanciful claims that his was a case of mistaken identity and that his deceased brother was responsible for the crimes he was being sought for in the U.S.
"He has filed injunctions at the federal court both in the Northern District of Illinois and in Nigeria to prevent his arrest and prosecution," Mitchell said of the senator-elect.
"These are issues that Kashamu should prepare to address rather than point accusing fingers at eminent elder statesmen who have no connection with the ongoing investigation process," he added.
Elected in the March 28 parliamentary poll to represent Nigeria's southwestern Ogun state in the Senate, Kashamu insists he is being witch-hunted and that his arrest contravenes the law.