The sensationalisation of the ruling of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit per Posner J. is but another chapter in the misinformation and deliberate falsification of facts.
This action was not brought against Senator Buruji Kashamu. It was initiated by him in 2015 before the attempted abduction saga occurred and was already pending in the District Court in Northern Illinois seeking to enforce the provisions of the Mansfield Act (a United States Law which forbids US law enforcement agents from carrying out law enforcement activities outside US territory).
At the time this action was commenced, all the Senator had was information that an abduction was being planned against him. Few months later that information was confirmed when a battalion of armed and masked National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) officials attacked, sacked and laid siege to his home for six days until they were forced to leave his premises by court order.
The US action continued thereafter on the evidence that showed that some US agents had indeed directed the operation against Senator Kashamu.
The judgment of the District Court not deal with the legality or otherwise of the act of those US agents but stopped at the threshold of consideration of the question whether the Mansfield Act could be the basis for complaint by an individual alleging illegal law enforcement activities in violation of that Act.
The District Court’s answer to that question was that the Mansfield Act did not give an individual any cause of action but could only be enforced by a government or state.
It is from that ruling that Senator Kashamu appealed to the Seventh Circuit whereupon the Seventh Circuit rejected the appeal.
In the belated opinion given again by Justice Posner, as he had done twice before, he exceeded the scope of the questions placed before the court and made remarks that have no basis in the record before him but which appears to emanate from his own prejudices.
The media probably needs a stimulant to sustain their audience now that the drama of the US election is abating. But they should be careful to be accurate in their reporting in order not to transcend the bounds of decency and legality as we have seen in the reaction of some overzealous Nigerian journalists.
It is disturbing that the media has ignored the implication of the US Seventh Circuit’s pronouncement concerning the capacity of the US government to carry out police operations in foreign territory in breach of International Law and the municipal law of the victim state; as was exhibited in the unlawful attempt to abduct a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Who knows who will be next?
The Nigerian courts have unequivocally declared that rendition is illegal and have proscribed such activity against Senator Kashamu in Nigerian territory.
Prince Ajibola Oluyede
Counsel to Senator Buruji Kashamu