Nigeria allegedly ignored pending proceedings at the Court of Appeal and a Federal High Court in Lagos to extradite a $148,000 wire fraud suspect, Adedunmola Gbadegesin, to the United States, his lawyer, Mr Victor Opara, SAN, has claimed.
But the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFFCC, which announced the extradition on Wednesday, did not confirm the allegation.
Gbedegesin was wanted by US authorities in a case of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.
His extradition on Wednesday was coordinated by the EFCC, following a request from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, sequel to a February 11, 2022, order by Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court, Lagos, granting a request to extradite the suspect to America.
Gbadegesin’s new counsel, Opara, SAN, had in a letter dated April 25, 2022, to AGF Abubakar Malami, SAN, and copied to the EFCC, Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal Lagos Division, reminded them of the pending proceedings.
Opara’s letter notified them of the appeal filed by Gbadegesin’s former lawyer, Olumide Babalola, that represented him at the lower court, and which stated that the matter came up for hearing at the Federal High Court, Lagos on March 25, 2022, but was adjourned till July 13, 2022, due to “the unpreparedness of the respondent to proceed with the application.”
The letter added: “On April 22, 2022, an extra copy of the record of appeal was once again served on your (AGF’s) office.”
It added that since the AGF’s office “is now aware of the pendency of the motion for stay of execution, which has not been struck out and the motion for stay of execution filed by the appellant at the Court of Appeal because of transmission of record of appeal as well as knowledge of pending appeal, it will be improper and unprofessional for the AGF to take steps towards the execution of the said ruling of the Federal High Court already subject of an appeal.
EFCC’s spokesman said he could not address the allegation, adding: “I don’t have those documents that you speak of.”