Senator Buruji Kashamu has asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to restrain the Federal Government from seizing his property worth N20 billion over drug trafficking allegations.
In a fresh application, he sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the Attorney-General of the Federation from taking possession of his property.
The application is before Justice Ibrahim Buba, who had restrained the NDLEA from arresting or extraditing Kashamu to the United States, where he is allegedly wanted.
But the NDLEA has asked the judge to disqualify himself from adjudicating the suit.
The agency said since Justice Buba, on June 23, reaffirmed a May 27 order by Justice Okon Abang of the same court stopping Kashamu’s arrest, he may not be fair to all parties in the present case.
The NDLEA lawyer, Mr. J. N. Sunday, claimed the injunction amounted to tying the hands of federal agencies from discharging their constitutional duties.
The agency asked the judge to withdraw from the case on the basis that he may not reach a different conclusion in the fresh case having ruled in Kashamu’s favour previously.
“This court had earlier heard and determined suit No. FHC/L/CS/763/2015. The facts or issues and the parties in the suit are not only the same but are intricately linked and intertwined with this suit.
“Having earlier made findings of facts, it will be difficult, if not impossible for this court to divorce itself from its findings in suit No. FHC/L/CS/763/2015, while considering and writing judgment in this present suit,” Sunday claimed.
According to NDLEA, the case file should be returned to the Chief Judge, Justice Ibrahim Auta, for re-assignment to another judge.
Meanwhile, the AGF, represented by Mr. Oyin Koleosho has filed a preliminary objection to the action.
It said the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit, which it described as a “tortuous act” that does not fall within Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution.
According to the AGF, the judge had no jurisdiction to entertain matters bordering on landed property.