• Duped Govt of Benin Republic
• Broke jail in Nigeria, UK
• Battles to upturn extradition request from the US
WHEN National Daily published this story in 2007, not many people believed us; but today, the man in the centre of the crime, Prince Buruji Kashamu, a senator-elect in Ogun State, is battling assiduously to evade justice in the United States of America since the US Government requested the Nigerian Government for his extradition back to the US for prosecution on charges of drug trafficking. He has not only engaged in filing suit in court to upturn the request for his extradition to the US, he has also been making overtures to his old time adversary, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for reconciliation and
possible protection by the incoming government of the All Progressives Congress (APC) since President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost in the general elections.
He operates like a clone from the Sicilian Costra Nostra Mafiadom quick thinking, good dresser, multilingual and always ahead of his prey. But inside this human casing is a mind that spins all sorts of crimes, including advance fee fraud (419), phoney international deals, export-import scam and sundry make-believe deals through which he has swindled friends, banks, presidents and unsuspecting business people. The end, however, seems imminent for Prince Buruji Kashamu, who was elected into the Senate on the platform of the PDP in the March 28, 2015, elections, as the US Government has stepped into his case with all diplomatic machinery of the country for extradition and prosecution, in addition to the Interpol that have placed him under strict surveillance over the years for arrest and prosecution.
National Daily can report authoritatively that Prince Kashamu who goes by numerous nicknames like Esho Jinadu, Ola Shamu, Wole Adeosun, Kasmal, Bukas Kasmal, Nacoil, Seicb Benin, among others, is only a whisper away from jail.
Police authorities at the Federal Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) Force Headquarters, Abuja, have been optimistic that the Lagos socialite and international con-man whom they have been investigating over the years, is one of the biggest drug barons that have for years outsmarted Interpol and various Police authorities across the globe but will soon run out of luck. The most serious manhunt for Kashamu came recently from the US Government which has requested the Nigerian Government for his extradition to the US to answer charges on drug trafficking. Kashamu, who has battled in frivolity for waiver in the case, accused the US Government of being sentimental on his case, contending that the US Government had at different times granted waiver to some citizens of other countries on similar case. However, his suit seeking to stop his extradition to the US by the Nigerian Government is still pending in court while his subtle overtures to Tinubu hit the rock. Tinubu not only reprimanded Kashamu but further declared that he wouldn’t want to identify with a wanted drug baron which will dent his image in the international community.
However, the suspect, who was declared a wanted drug baron in Nigeria in the 1980s and was believed to have changed his identity several times, was also declared a wanted person in Benin Republic after he used his Cotton Ginnery Company to dupe many people and organisations, including the Union Bank branch in that country and former President Nicephone Soglo, who he allegedly served as Chief Security Officer (CSO).
Preliminary investigations confirmed that Kashamu began life at the Lagos Mainland Council before his sudden wealth that gave rise to Jinson Motors on Allen, which was raided by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) under the headship of Musa Bamaiyi in 1984/85 but he escaped from NDLEA detention cell and fled to Benin Republic.
In 1998, he was caught in London by the British Police over money-laundering and drug-trafficking offences. He was detained at London’s Heathrow Airport with large amount of hard currency, including six passports of different nationalities in his possession.
Through a standard name check, the British Customs authorities found that there was an outstanding US warrant for his arrest on narcotics trafficking charges, his street drug trafficking name at that time was Kasmal. He was, therefore, detained, prosecuted and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.
Besides these, which security reports available to National Daily, preliminary investigations also showed that upon his return to Nigeria in 2003, after serving out a four-year jail term in British prison, he used Kasmal International Limited to dupe a new generation bank to the tune of $4.1 million (about N810 million today) through a fraudulent letter of credit. It was then said that he took loans with a deliberate attempt not to pay back.
Police investigators, who confirmed that they were closing in on the suspect, also said he had a recent warrant of arrest issued against him in Britain for money laundering over a case involving Vitol.
National Daily gathered that in the Vitol case, the suspect after receiving a consignment of petroleum products from the company abroad, sold them all, collected all the money only to accuse Vitol of supplying adulterated products. Based on this false claim, he refused to pay the company.
While he put documents together to prove his false claim, the bank was under pressure from the Brazilian firm to honour the irrevocable letter of credit issued for the transaction.
National Daily learnt that the suspect, who has been changing his name and identity, was known in social circles at various times simply as Wole, Jinadu Bukas and so on. As a result of his perpetual hidden identity, he was able to beat off the Police and Interpol. National Daily intelligence revealed that at social functions, musicians sing his praise with the name Esho Jinadu, which he ostentatiously dances to and acknowledges cheers from close friends who know him as Esho Jinadu.
But it appears luck ran out on him following a seemingly simple case that brought him to the attention of the Nigeria Police. In that case, the socialite had dragged his estranged wife to the Police station over the paternity of two-month-old twins in their custody.
The FCID officials who handled the matter were at a loss why the two-month old twins taken into custody by the Area A Police Command in Lagos were not released to their foster mother in spite of findings that they were illegally adopted by the suspect’s estranged wife, Rosemary. Sources close to the Police alleged that the non-release of the twins was the handiwork of Prince Kashamu who allegedly defrauded the estranged wife to the tune of N25 million.
National Daily investigation revealed that the husband who was indebted to some banks already, a development which made it difficult to get further loan facilities, had sought for the sum of N150 million as loan from the lady to enable him execute a deal with a promise to repay the money by end of September, 2007. After much persuasion, the lady promised to raise N50 million. She raised a cheque for an initial N25 million, which he hurriedly cashed with a promise to issue a post-dated cheque for the same amount against September 30, 2007. He was said to have continued to mount pressure on his victim for the second installment without the promised post-dated cheque for the value.
Sources close to the family revealed that, on smelling a rat, the estranged wife refused to part with another N25 million, hence, the husband resorted to make allegations of murder, child theft and threat to life against her. He also denied the fatherhood of the children. “Things went awry when the man shifted the agreed date of repayment from September to November 30, a development which was not accepted by the lady,” said our source.
Following a complaint of fraud against the man in a petition titled “Request for a comprehensive investigation and transfer of case file, suspect and all other related cases to FCID” lodged at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, by the lady’s lawyers, Police detectives from the anti-fraud unit, Abuja, went looking for the suspect in his hotel on Lagos Island.
They cordoned-off the hotel where he was said to be hiding at the time but could not arrest him as he allegedly escaped after getting a tip-off by inside sources that detectives from the FCID were in town on his trail.
Meanwhile, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on the morning of Saturday, May23, 2015, surrounded the Lekki Phase 1, Lagos residence of Prince Kashamu at about 4.30 am, probably on continuous investigation or to effect his arrest following an extradition request from the US. It was gathered that about 20 operatives of the NDLEA, stormed Kashamu’s home at the week end but did not arrest him, the motive of the operation was, however, said not to be clear but not unconnected with the pending cases of drug trafficking. There were indications, however, that the NDLEA operatives are tracking down the suspect, keeping him under close watch in order to enforce his extradition without delay if he loses his case in court this week.
Kashamu, however, raised alarm that the surrounding of his home last Saturday by officials of the NDLEA was the handiwork of Bode George, and his wife Roli, the Director General of the NDLEA. He claimed he had confirmed that the Nigerian Government, through the Attorney General of the Federation, did not authorise the raid on his home.
Kashamu had protested that, this latest onslaught is a confirmation of the alleged plot to illegally abduct him in spite of the pending suit against this illegality.
“As a matter of fact, the court has ordered parties in the matter, including the NDLEA, to maintain status quo until judgment is delivered on Wednesday, 27th May 2015. We have confirmed that they do not have a warrant of arrest, just as the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice has said that it did not give any order to carry out this illegality,” Kashamu had declared. He insisted that he had “confirmed that this illegality is being designed and executed by Chief Bode George whose wife is the Director General of the NDLEA, all in a bid to score cheap political points.”
Kashamu further cautioned that “Nigeria is not a Banana republic,” warning further that, “The United States (US) being the bastion of democracy, rule of law and due process should not lend itself to this kind of illegality.”
Certainly, Kashamu has a date with history. If he escapes with the court’s judgment this week, will he escape the incoming administration of Muhammadu Buhari of the APC that has vowed to erase all forms of corruption and heinous crimes in the country?