Jan. 24, 2014
Contrary to claims by the estranged political associate of Olusegun Obasanjo and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Ogun State, Buruji Kashamu, that he is no longer wanted by the United States authorities for drugs smuggling, the U.S. has confirmed that Kashamu is still very much wanted.
In an exclusive email obtained by AfricanSpotlight from the U.S Department of Justice in Illinois on January 23, Randall Samborn, Public Information Officer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago says, “There is still a warrant for his arrest in the United States, and the case remains pending.”
Samborn added that “Last week, his attorneys filed a new motion to dismiss the indictment in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and that is set for a status hearing on Jan. 31, at which time the Court will likely set a briefing schedule for both sides to submit written arguments before any decision is made.”
It would be recalled that news about The 20-year old case came to the fore recently when Kashamu was appointed leader of the PDP in the southwest.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, a PDP heavyweight, rejected the appointment and threatened to leave the party, saying that Kashamu is a wanted man in the United States.
Mr. Obasanjo had, in an open letter to President Goodluck and the leadership of the PDP, frowned at Mr. Kashamu’s elevation as a party leader in the South-West geopolitical zone where the former president hails from, vowing not to participate at party functions if Mr. Kashamu remained at his post.
The former president described Mr. Kashamu, who is the Chairman of the Organisation and Mobilisation Committee of PDP, South West, as a “habitual criminal” wanted by the United States government on drug charges.
To back his claim, Mr. Obasanjo forwarded to the president and the PDP leadership, a cache of incriminating documents on Mr. Kashamu, including court papers and media clippings.
One of the documents, a clip of the Chicago Tribune newspaper edition of November 14, 2013, marked No 1 by Mr. Obasanjo quoted the U.S attorney’s office as saying Mr. Kashamu “is still wanted on charges alleging his drug ring moved millions of dollars’ worth of heroin from Europe and Southeast Asia through O’Hare International Airport during the 1990s.”
Mr. Kashamu has denied wrongdoing, alleging that Mr. Obasanjo was crying foul because he had lost relevance in the PDP.