By Sunday Elijah
A Ghanaian lawyer, Ralph Poku Adusei, has approached an Accra High Court seeking to stop the authorities from extraditing his Nigerian client, Blessing Adeleke Oluwadamilare, from Ghana to the United States of America (USA).
Blessing Adeleke Oluwadamilare, a.k.a Raymond (the Applicant), is said to be wanted in the US for various offences including conspiracy to defraud and defrauding by false pretences.
The filed affidavit by the applicant states that on August 13, 2020, a federal grand jury sitting in the Northern District of Ohio indicted and charged him with violations of US law.
Consequently, it issued an arrest warrant for the apprehension and extradition of Blessing Oluwadamilare.
Due to the requisition order from the US, Ghana’s Minister for the Interior, acting through the Ghana Police Service, Interpol Division, in exercising 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.
Oluwadamilare was put before the Kaneshie District Court and he was admitted to bail on Tuesday, March 15, in the sum GHC 200,000.00 with two sureties.
The court fixed April 4, 2022 for hearing.
Oluwadamilare, after meeting the bail conditions on March 18, was re-arrested and on March 22 and re-arraigned before a different district court that is “The District Court Kaneshie, Court “2”, the affidavit said.
After a two-day hearing of the extradition case, the court ordered for the Extradition of the Applicant on March 23, 2022 without recourse to the earlier suit.
The suit is 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, the applicant’s affidavit filed at the High Court registry today 1 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and believe same to be true that the suit initiated earlier in the District Court Kaneshie “Court 1” was neither withdrawn nor discontinued before the initiation of the second suit,” it said.
“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.”
Counsel for Oluwadamilare contended 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 4th April 2022”.
The applicant, therefore, proceeded to the High Court seeking three reliefs.
First, the applicant is seeking “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.
Second, 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 15th March, 2022, 5 presided over by her Ladyship Ms Ama Adomako-Kwakye in District Court Kaneshie, Court 1”.
Third, the applicant is “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.”