It’s been a torrid week for Buruji Kashamu, the Ogun East senator.
Seven days ago, his rival in the South West, Ayo Fayose, emerged as the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum at a meeting of the governors held in Abuja, the nation’s capital. The senator and the governor do not see eye to eye as they battle for supremacy in the zone.
Kashamu issued a long, bitter statement following Fayose’s emergence, questioning how a party in need of rebranding and repositioning could “choose a liability, a loud mouth and an immature politician like Fayose as the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum.”
He was quick to point out that Fayose’s emergence as chairman did not affect him personally, but his views were out of concern “that instead of taking steps that will foster peace and unity, we are doing things that will widen the gap and cause more disunity.”
On Monday, Kashamu was hit with even worse news. A lawsuit he filed in a US court seeking to prevent the American government’s attempt to make him face justice in that country over drug trafficking accusations was thrown out by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals presided over by Justice Richard Posner.
Kashamu is reportedly on the run, a fugitive from justice in the US since 1998 when he was indicted in a heroin case.
In 2015, an attempt by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Nigeria to ensure he was arrested and repatriated to the US failed when a Lagos court ruled in his favour after security agents had laid siege on his home for six days. Kashamu on his part maintains that he is innocent and is being mistaken for his late brother, a claim which the US government disputes.
On Wednesday, more embarrassment came Kashamu’s way in an Ogun state High Court where he has filed a suit asking the court to detain anyone who refers to him as a fugitive.
During cross examination before Justice Akinyemi, Kashamu claimed to have spent just two years before graduating from primary school. How? He said he was born in 1958 and that he left primary school in 1966. That would have put him at eight years old. However, he said he got into primary school at the age of six, which as defence lawyer, Edward Ayo-Odugbesan, pointed out, meant he spent just two years in school.
He could always look on the bright side though: He is still a senator, the one job in this country where you can be paid humongous sums for doing nothing.