A private legal practitioner Ralph Poku Adusei has filed an application at the High Court seeking to stop an alleged illegal attempt by the State to extradite his client, Blessing Adeleke Oluwadamilare (Alias Raymond), a Nigerian national, from Ghana to the United States of America (USA).
In his affidavit in support of his application filed at the High Court and deposed to by one Phillip Aklade, a law clerk of Trent Legal (Amansie Chambers), Blessing Adeleke Oluwadamilare (the Applicant) is alleged to be wanted in the United States of America for various offences including but not limited to conspiracy to defraud and defrauding by the false pretenses.
Facts of the case
The affidavit further noted that on the 13 August 2020, a federal grand jury sitting in the Northern District of Ohio filed an indictment against the Applicant charging him with violations of U.S. law and consequently issued an arrest warrant for the apprehension and extradition of Blessing Adeleke Oluwadamilare.
It said, following the requisition order from the United States of America, the Minister for Interior acting through the Ghana Police Service Interpol Division in exercise of its powers under the Extradition Act 1960, Act 22 caused the arrest of the Applicant at the Kotoka international airport on the 12 March 2022.
It said, the police subsequently arraigned Blessing Adeleke Oluwadamilare before the district court on basis of the Extradition Treaty Between the United States and United Kingdom of 22 December 1931, and the Applicant was duly admitted to bail on Tuesday 15 March 2022 in the sum of GHc 200,000.00 with two sureties. The case was thus adjourned to 4 April 2022 for hearing.
Mr Oluwadamilare after meeting the bail conditions on the 18 March 2022 was re-arrested after his release and it was not until the 22 March 2022 that the Applicant was re-arraigned before a different district court judge from the initial one that granted him bail.
“The District Court Kaneshie, Court “2” during the course of a two-day hearing, determined the Extradition case against the Applicant and ordered for the Extradition of the Applicant on the 23 March, 2022 without recourse to the earlier suit titled case no. B1/29/22 The Republic versus Blessing Adeleke Oluwadamilare Alias Raymond: In the matter of Extradition of Blessing Adeleke Oluwadamilare Alias Raymond Pursuant to the Extradition Treaty Between the United States and United Kingdom of 22nd December 1931” the Affidavit filed at the High Court registry today 1 April 2022 stated.
It is therefore the contention of lawyer for Mr Oluwadamilare, that the second court erred when it “proceeded to determine the extradition matter, even though it lacked jurisdiction because the earlier suit stood adjourned to the 4 April 2022”.
“I am advised and believe same to be true that the suit initiated earlier in the District court Kaneshie “Court 1” was neither withdrawn nor discontinued before the initiation of the second suit and that the initiation of the second case without withdrawing the earlier case is a nullity and renders any proceedings thereafter null and void ab initio since a court of coordinate jurisdiction cannot hear the same matter pending before another court” the Affidavit further read.
On the strength of this arguments, the lawyer for the Applicant is seeking three reliefs from the High Court.
“An order of Certiorari directed at the District Court Kaneshie, Court 2 to bring up into this Honourable High Court for the purposes of being quashed and quashing the entire proceedings of the 23 March 2022 and the Extradition order duly decreed by his Lordship Oheneba-Kuffour and dated the 23 March 2022 for want of jurisdiction in the suit titled Suit No. B7/105/22; In The Matter Of The Extradition Of Blessing Adeleke Alias Blessing Raymond And In The Matter Of The United States Of America versus Blessing Adeleke Alias Raymond”
The Applicant is praying the High Court for “an order directed at the Respondents ( Attorney General, Ghana Police Service) to respect and uphold the terms of the decision, ruling and/or orders of the District Court dated the 15 March 2022 presided over by her ladyship Ms Ama Adomako-Kwakye in District Court Kaneshie, “Court 1” in suit No. B1/29/22 The Republic versus Blessing Adeleke Oluwadamilare Alias Raymond; In The Matter of Extradition of Blessing Adeleke Oluwadamilare Alias Raymond Pursuant to The Extradition Treaty Between the United States and The United Kingdom of 22nd December 1931.”
The Applicant is also seeking for “a consequential order directed at the interested parties to respect the decision, ruling and/or orders of the District Court dated the 15 March 2022 presided over by her ladyship Ms Ama Adomako-Kwakye in District Court Kaneshie, “Court 1” in suit No. B1/29/22 The Republic versus Blessing Adeleke Oluwadamilare Alias Raymond; In The Matter of Extradition of Blessing Adeleke Oluwadamilare Alias Raymond Pursuant to The Extradition Treaty Between the United States and The United Kingdom of 22 December 1931 and release the applicant on bail as ordered by the court”.