Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo, says the Peoples Democratic Party goofed by presenting Buruji Kashamu as its senatorial candidate in the Ogun-East senatorial election.
Keyamo said this during a programme titled “Legal angle on Nigeria Info FM,” which was monitored by our correspondent on Wednesday.
He said Kashamu, who has been accused of drug trafficking in the United States, may spend more time facing probes than attending sessions at the National Assembly and may be forced to vacate his seat.
Keyamo said although Kashamu had a right to contest since he had not been convicted of any crime, the PDP should not have fielded him as a candidate for moral reasons.
He said, “Legally, Kashamu could contest but this is a moral issue and I blame the PDP. The party seemed to have taken people for granted because they got away with it in 2003 when they presented a candidate from prison and the candidate won.
“Now, if Kashamu gets convicted, what happens to his seat? If you miss a particular number of sittings either in the Senate or House of Representatives, your seat will automatically be declared vacant and a bye-election will be held to fill the position.
“Now, Kashamu does not have immunity and they are asking for his extradition. The fact that he is a senator-elect does not stop his extradition. So, imagine the eyesore of a senator who is sitting in the chambers to make laws and then shuttling between a criminal court and the Senate. If he is eventually asked to be extradited, he will be taken away and the seat will be declared vacant and the party runs the risk of losing that seat.
“So, it is the problem of the party and this was the kind of eyesore we saw with the PDP that they just took Nigerians for granted and did what they liked and they have seen the result with their crushing defeat. They took Nigerians for granted for too long.”
Keyamo said the process of extradition was such that it was almost impossible for a court to grant an accused person bail.
He said for the extradition to succeed, the United States would have to formally apply to the Attorney-General of the Federation and attach evidence to the application.
He added the AG would then apply to the court in Nigeria and the court may deny or approve the application.