Extradition To America: Popular Music Promoter Knows Fate April 22

A Federal High Court in Lagos will on April 22 decide whether or not to grant the request of the federal government to extradite a music producer, Alagbada Lateef, popularly called Lati Alagbada to the United States of America to answer drug related charges.

Justice Muslim Hassan fixed the date after counsel to the government, Akutah Ukeyima, and that of the Producer, Babatunde Oni, argued and adopted their written processes.

Alagbada a music producer promoted many Fuji musicians like: late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Alhaji Saheed Osupa, Alhaji Wasi Ayinde Mashal, Adewale Ayuba and many others.

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) had filed the suit marked FHC/L/CS/2212/19, seeking an order of the court to extradite the music producer, Alagbada, to the United States of America to face a two-counts charge of conspiracy to distribute, possess and importation of one kilogram of heroine.

Moving the application for Alagbada’s extradition on Thursday, Akutah informed the court that the application is dated and filed on November 29, 2019 with three paragraphs affidavit and a written address.

He particularly told the court to considered exhibit ‘B’, a Certified True Copy (CTC) of warrant of arrest of Alagbada Lateef, case No. 17-CR-227-JMV, dated and issued on June 15, 2017, by a United State’s District Court of New Jersey.

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The lawyer further told the judge to discountenance one of the exhibits in Alagbada’s counter affidavit to the AGF’s extradition application, a newspaper publication, on the ground that the language in which the publication was made was unknown to the court.

Akutah therefore urged the court to grant the application and order the extradition of Alagbada to USA to face the charge pending against him.

Responding, Alagbada’s counsel, Oni, urged the court to strike out the application for lacking in merit.

Oni asked the Court to discountenance the application on the ground that the Saudi Arabia government had released his client after detaining him for six months on the same allegations.

He maintained that the Saudi Arabia government could not fine any evidence of drug dealing against his client.

Oni also told the court that in 2017, after the alleged offence was committed, his client applied for Visa to USA but same was rejected.

He insisted that if truly the American Government are looking for him, his Visa would have been granted to facility his trial in the United State.

In urging the court to discountenance the extradition application against his client, Oni told the court to hold that the newspaper publication which is marked as exhibit B admissible.

After listening to the lawyers, Justice Hassan adjourned the matter to April 22, for judgment and also ordered that the music promoter be remanded in the custody of Nigerian’s Interpol.

In affidavit filed in support of Extradition application, which was deposed to by Henry Tekemeka, an Executive Officer, at the Central Authority Unit, International Cooperation Department, Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja, the AGF averred that the United States of America has submitted a request to him for the Extradition of Alagbada Lateef.

The AGF also stated that he is satisfied that provision is made by the Laws of the United States of America, such that so long as Alagbada Lateef has not had reasonable opportunity of returning to Nigeria, he will not be detained or tried In that Country for any offence committed before his surrender other than the extradition offence which may be proved by the fact on which his surrender is granted.

He states that he is satisfied that the request for the surrender of Alagbada Lateef was not made for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing him on account of his race, religion, nationality or political opinions.

That the said request was made in good faith and in the interest of justice.

That Alagbada Lateef, if eventually surrendered, will not be prejudiced at his trial and will not be punished, detained or restricted in his personal liberty, by reason of his race, nationality or political opinions.

He stated further that he is satisfied that the offence for which Alagbada Lateef’s surrender is sought is not trivial In nature or that having regard to all the circumstances in which the offence was committed it will not be unjust or oppressive, or be too severe a punishment, to surrender him.

That he is satisfied that Alagbada Lateef has been indicted of the offence for which his surrender is sought but that he is unlawfully at large.

20th April 2024
Nigerian Pantagraph