Nigerian drug agents Saturday surrounded the house of a senator-elect wanted by the United States in a nearly 20-year-old heroin deal that was the alleged basis for the TV hit “Orange is the New Black.”
Buruji Kashamu is under house arrest, according to the chairman of Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Ahmadu Giade.
But Kashamu’s spokesman, Austin Oniyokor, said, “He has not been arrested but there is a siege to his house and an attempt to forcibly take him.” He said the agents did not have an arrest warrant.
Giade said Kashamu, 56, will appear in a federal high court Monday to start extradition proceedings to the United States.
He said agents raided Kashamu’s home in Lagos at around 5 a.m., before dawn Saturday. Armed agents were seen surrounding the property Saturday night.
Kashamu has already been suing a Nigerian court to prevent attempts to extradite him.
He had become a powerful politician and financier of President Goodluck Jonathan’s party. Jonathan lost the March elections but Kashamu was elected a senator in balloting opponents said was rigged.
A Chicago grand jury in 1998 indicted Kashamu for conspiracy to import and distribute heroin in the U.S. Kashamu has said it is a case of mistaken identity and that prosecutors really want the dead brother he closely resembles.
He said Saturday’s development was a political conspiracy, according to his spokesman.
“This latest onslaught is a confirmation of the alleged plot to illegally abduct him in spite of the pending suit against this illegality,” Oniyokor said.
It was not clear when the United States filed an extradition request, but the Nigerian drug agency’s spokesman, Ofoyeju Mitchell, said a U.S. extradition request was the reason for Saturday’s action.