A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Godwin Obla, has denied leaking an alleged plot by the United States of America to arrest the Ogun-East senator- elect, Buruji Kashamu, and extradite him to face charges of illicit drug trafficking in the US.Buruji Kashamu
Kashamu had stated in a petition to the National Human Rights Commission that Obla got the information of the plot to abduct him from the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Adoke Mohammed (SAN), and leaked it to his (Kashamu’s) personal lawyer, Mr. Ajibola Oluyede.
But Obla has denied having any information relating to the alleged plot.
He has dragged Oluyede, who authored the NHRC petition on behalf of Kashamu, before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, insisting that the story of his involvement in the leaking of the alleged information was a mere fabrication.
Obla maintained that the fabrication by Oluyede was made to make his client’s case look good.
The SAN asked the LPDC “to inquire into the infamous conduct of Ajibola Oluyede with a view to bringing him before the committee to account for the misdeed to save the legal profession of loss of reputation and integrity of its members.”
He said that though he was close to Adoke, at no time did the two of them discuss issues relating to Kashamu’s extradition.
Oluyede had stated in the petition that Obla told him of the plot to forcibly extradite Kashamu to the USA while they were both on a flight to the US.
Oluyede said Obla told him that as a friend to Adoke, he (Obla) witnessed an occasion when former President Olusegun Obasanjo, a political adversary to Kashamu, was mounting pressure on the AGF to ensure the extradition of the senator-elect to the US
But Obla said in his petition to the LPDC that he did not know beyond what was reported in the media about the personality of Kashamu.
He said he had “never had any connection, nor shown any particular or special interest beyond the media effects of consistent reportage on the person of Kashamu and his associates, including the said Prince Ajibola Oluyede, his lawyer, with whom I only had a brief encounter in court in the year 2013 in the course of my professional duties in suits totally unconnected with Kashamu.”
He said he would have ignored “the lies” told by Oluyede “but the mere antic of a desperate lawyer sliding beyond his call of duty to indulge in the old tales on a voyage of fabricating facts in order to earn his brief at all costs, however, I am mindful of the Goebbellian effects of falsehoods donning the toga of truth if unchallenged, and it’s deleterious effects on the integrity of the Bar, hence, this complaint.”
Obla said he had only had few encounters with Oluyede in court and the relationship did not go beyond professional
He said the encounters “could by no means have translated into such friendship intimacy as to warrant, by any widest imagination, the deluded fancy that he shared such nonexistent information or facts with him as alleged.”
Kashamu’s petition dated April 15, 2015, to the NHRC had read in part, “On a flight to the Federal Capital, Abuja, from Lagos sometime in October 2014, a colleague and friend of our principal partner, R. A Oluyede, Chief Obla (SAN), who is also very close to the AGF, informed Mr. Oluyede of the tremendous pressure that Chief (Olusegun) Obasanjo was bringing upon the AGF for the extradition of Prince Kashamu and that in one discussion between the AGF and Chief Obasanjo, witnessed by him (the SAN), Chief Obasanjo had boasted that he was malting arrangements with some US officials in the region to have Prince Kashamu abducted and flown in a private plane to the US.
“He advised that Mr. Oluyede tell Prince Kashamu, known widely to be his client, to be very careful. Prince Kashamu’s enquiry about this information revealed that indeed, there had been moves made 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 Extradition Act.”