Home / news / UK court declares Nigerian fraudster deportation illegal, orders for his return

UK court declares Nigerian fraudster deportation illegal, orders for his return

A United Kingdom court has ordered the UK Home Office to pay for and facilitate the return of a Nigerian man deported to Nigeria in March 2018.

The man, granted anonymity in the case, was jailed for four-and-a-half years for being a ‘prime mover in a criminal enterprise.’

He was jailed after he and ‘others under his control’ were found guilty of using stolen identities to submit 154 fraudulent VAT claims laundering the cash through bank accounts at a “substantial, and irrecoverable, cost to the United Kingdom taxpayer”.

But while in jail in January 2016, he filed for asylum, claiming he would be persecuted Nigeria because he was bisexual and had paid for male prostitutes at a party while on holiday in the country.

Nigeria passed a law criminalising same-sex marriage and gay organisations in 2013, In Northern states under Sharia – Islamic religious law – death penalty is for people convicted of same-sex offences and 14-year jail term in other states.

The Home Office refused the appeal in April 2017 and said the claim had not already been considered and that, notwithstanding its rejection, it had a “realistic prospect of success” on appeal to the First-tier Tribunal.

In November 2017, the Nigerian man informed the tribunal that he had changed his address but the tribunal officials sent the notice of his appeal hearing to his old address, hence, he was unaware of his substantive appeal hearing in December 2017 and did not attend.

During the hearing in December, the Home Office Presenting Officer told the judge that the appeal bundles, which listed the hearing date, had been sent to the Nigerian man new address and added that he had absconded.

While Home Office claims are incorrect, the judge proceeded with the hearing in the Nigerian man absence and dismissed his appeal while the Nigerian man remained unaware of his appeal.

The Home Office then contacted him in February 2018 about an interview with the Nigerian authorities to facilitate his return.

He filed a new appeal and won. The Upper Tribunal allowed his appeal in May 2018 and remitted the case for a fresh hearing.

But by that time, he had been deported to Nigeria.

At the hearing last week, the President of the Upper Tribunal, Mr Justice Lane, ruled that his deportation was unlawful and that the Nigerian man had a right to have his appeal heard in the UK.

The judge said he did “not consider it appropriate to give the fact of the applicant’s criminal offending much weight” and that the Home Office had acted unlawfully by removing him for being out of time with his appeal.

He said the deportation had deprived the Nigerian man statutory right to an in-country appeal particularly significant, especially since his case concerned a claim of a real risk of persecution.

“We declare the removal of the applicant on 28 March 2018 to be unlawful,” Lane said.

The Home Office suggested that the hearing could take place via video link from Nigeria as COVID-19 had “complicated matters” but the judge insisted that the case for return is a “very strong one” and it was inappropriate for him to conduct his appeal from Nigeria.

Accordingly, Lane made an order “requiring the respondent to use her best endeavours to secure the applicant’s return to the United Kingdom for the purposes of his appeal.”

About GIR

Check Also


Presidential, local elections start in Iran at 07:00

According to official statistics, 59,310,307 Iranians can cast votes in the presidential election with over 1.3 …


Chinese crewed spaceship docks with new space station

Chinese astronauts, from left, Tang Hongbo, Liu Boming, and Nie Haisheng wave as they prepare …


U.S. bishops to discuss whether Biden, Catholic politicians should get Communion if they support abortion rights

Whether in Washington, D.C., Delaware, or overseas, one thing is consistent for President Biden—he always …


Hong Kong police raid Apple Daily pro-democracy newspaper as China’s crackdown continues

Hong Kong — Hong Kong police arrested the chief editor and four executives of pro-democracy newspaper …


Israel hits Gaza with airstrikes after Hamas fires incendiary balloons

Israel launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip late Thursday for a second time since a shaky cease-fire ended …


Uneasy calm in Ibarapa land over Saturday attack on Igangan community

Uneasy calm, on Monday, pervaded the atmosphere in some parts of Igangan Community in Oyo …


House of Reps fumes, summons Lai Mohammed over Twitter ban

“The House of Representatives recognises that Twitter, like other social media networks, is an important …


Kaduna University suspends undergraduate academic activities indefinitely

KASU Registrar, Mr Samuel Manshop, disclosed this in a statement in Kaduna. Manshop, who did …


Nigeria’s top Army chief Attahiru dies in plane crash

Attahiru was appointed Chief of Army Staff only four months ago. Nigeria’s Chief of Army …


Ex-cop facing murder charges in death of Rayshard Brooks wants back on the force

Former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe was fired the day after he fatally shot Rayshard …