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Nigerian sues UK for denying him entry after landing at Manchester airport

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Nigerian sues UK for denying him entry after landing at Manchester airport
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Nigerian sues UK for denying him entry after landing at Manchester airport

A Nigerian, Adeyemi Opebiyi, has sued the United Kingdom for allegedly turning him back from entering the country after he had been granted a visa and had flown from Nigeria to the Manchester Airport.

Opebiyi, who described himself as the Head of Operations, Sabi Micro Finance Bank Ltd, said on arriving at Manchester Airport on March 14, 2021, he was stopped by the UK Immigration official, who insisted that he must be interviewed before he could be allowed into the UK.

He claimed that he was made to wait for eight hours at the immigration desk before he was eventually interviewed by an Immigration officer, who asked him to draw the logo of Sabi Micro Finance Bank Ltd, among other things, as a way of verifying his claim that he works with the financial institution.

Opebiyi alleged that after drawing the logo as best as he could, the Immigration officer told him that the drawing was not good enough and he would be denied entry into the UK on that basis and related reasons.

He claimed that he was subsequently detained for 10 days before he was finally deported to Nigeria on March 24.

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He said in response to his request for the review of the decision, he got a letter from the UK Home Office, reading: “You were asked to draw Sabi Micro Finance Bank LTD’s logo: What you drew bore little resemblance to the logos found on all the official paperwork you submitted for your visa application.

“Furthermore, you were initially unable to state the correct names of the current Chairperson and Managing Director of Sabi Micro Finance Bank Ltd. This is something a Head of Operations would know. You were also unable to describe the core values and mission of Sabi Micro Finance Bank Ltd as described on its website.”

In the suit filed on his behalf by UK-based Nigerian lawyer, Mr Femi Aina, a Senior Consultant Solicitor with Martynsrose Solicitors, UK, Opebiyi is demanding damages for what he termed the unlawful and humiliating treatment meted out to him by the UK Immigration officers.

The suit was filed upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum chamber) UK, with the Secretary of State for Home Department (UK) named as the sole respondent to the suit.

Nigerian sues UK for denying him entry after landing at Manchester airport

In the court papers, copies of which were made available to our correspondent, Opebiyi’s lawyer said, “The applicant spent 16 hours on his flight to London (Lagos-Doha-Manchester). He was held for about eight hours by the respondent for further examination. He was interviewed after eight hours’ waiting and was asked to draw the company logo. Despite the fatigue and the flight stress, he tried his best possible to draw the company’s logo. The respondent’s action is oppressive as it does not have regard for his well-being.
“The applicant showed his ID card, his MD confirmed his employment. The letter dated 9th April, 2018 and the one dated 12 August, 2020 from the CBN relates to his employment. His bank statement shows regular salary payment. All the above are relevant evidence regarding his employment. The respondent’s decision that he was not employed, or that false information was used in obtaining his visa, is wrong.

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“By reason of the matters aforesaid, the applicant was unlawfully detained and deprived of his liberty for 10 days at Immigration Detention Centre (Colynbrook) from the date of his arrival, 14th March 2021 up to the date of his removal i.e. 24 March, 2021.

“The respondent has acted in a way that is incompatible with the applicant’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, contrary to Section 6(1) as a public authority carrying out Immigration Control.”

Describing the experience as the worst in his life, Opebiyi, in the court papers, said, “I was humiliated and distressed about the whole matter. A week after returning to Nigeria I could not go to work as I was mentally unstable. I have never stayed in detention in my life. The whole experience is affecting me psychologically till now. Anytime I hear detention or see anything about the UK, I cringe. I lost my savings on a fruitless journey to the UK. I am a victim of injustice.”

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The applicant, through his lawyer, said he was entitled to a claim of between £5,000 and £20,000, with interest.

He explained that he lost a total of £1,593.00 from the cost of flight ticket, taxi fare to the airport in Nigeria, Administrative Review fees that he paid in the UK and the legal fees he paid to the lawyer who processed the Administrative Review for him.

“The claimant is entitled to interest pursuant to Section 69 County Courts Act 1984 on any sums due to him at such rate as the court shall think fit,” the lawyer said.

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‘Chadian soldiers sell arms when broke’ — Nigerian navy laments arms proliferation

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‘Chadian soldiers sell arms when broke’ — Nigerian navy laments arms proliferation
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‘Chadian soldiers sell arms when broke’ — Nigerian navy laments arms proliferation

The Nigerian navy says some neighbouring countries do not have armouries, making it difficult for Nigeria to fight arms proliferation.

Awwal Gambo, chief of naval staff, who was represented by Jemila Sadiq Abubakar, a commodore, spoke on Monday at a public hearing organised by the house of representatives committee on national security and intelligence on the consideration of four security bills.

‘Chadian soldiers sell arms when broke’ — Nigerian navy laments arms proliferation

While making a contribution to the bill seeking to establish a national commission against the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, Abubakar said the weapons donated by developed countries to neighbouring nations are “compounding” Nigeria’s security challenges.

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She said the lack of armouries in some of the neighbouring countries makes arms available to their security operatives who in turn sell it off when they are “broke”.

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Mali may delay post-coup elections, says interim PM

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Mali may delay post-coup elections, says interim PM
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Mali may delay post-coup elections, says interim PM

Mali may push back presidential and legislative elections from late February to avoid their validity being contested, the country’s prime minister, Choguel Maiga, handling a post-coup transition has said.

Mali’s progress back to democracy following the August 2020 overthrow of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is being closely monitored in a region that has experienced four coups in 13 months, two of them in Mali.

Under pressure from the Economic Community of West African States, a regional bloc, Mali’s new military leaders agreed to an 18-month transition that would culminate with presidential and legislative elections on February 27, 2022.

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But in an interview with Radio France International and France24 on Sunday, Mali’s interim prime minister, Choguel Maiga, said that date could be postponed by “two weeks, two months, a few months.”

“[The electoral calendar] was based on the requirements of ECOWAS without asking what practical steps must be taken to get there.

“The main thing for us is less to stick to Feb. 27 than to hold elections that will not be contested,” Maiga said.

Mali may delay post-coup elections, says interim PM

Maiga said a final date would be determined by late October.

ECOWAS has not yet responded.

Last month the bloc said it would impose sanctions, including asset freezes, on anyone holding up preparations for Mali’s elections.

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Maiga also addressed reports that Mali is close to a deal with a Russian company, the Wagner Group, to hire private military contractors to help fight Islamist insurgents.

“We are at the stage of rumours and often even disinformation,” he said.

According to him, it will be announced as soon as Mali agrees on a deal with any country or partner.

“We will have no shame in making it public,” he said.

Diplomatic and security sources told Reuters Mali was close to a deal with the Wagner Group.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday the Malian authorities had turned to a private military company from Russia.

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The possibility of such a deal has triggered opposition from France, which has said the involvement of Russian military contractors was incompatible with a continued French presence in the West African state.

(Reuters/NAN)

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China Releases Two Canadian Detained For Morethan 1000 Days

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China Releases Two Canadian Detained For Morethan 1000 Days
Michael Kovrig (left) and Michael Spavor (right), two Canadian citizens detained in China on espionage charges, have been released after nearly three years, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.
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China Releases Two Canadian Detained For Morethan 1000 Days

Two Canadians detained by China for nearly three years have been released, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday night.

Trudeau said Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor boarded a plane headed for Canada at about 7:30 p.m. ET Friday night and would land in Canada sometime Saturday.

“These two men have gone through an unbelievably difficult ordeal for the past 1,000 days, they have shown strength, perseverance and grace and we are all inspired by that,” said Trudeau at a late evening news conference in Ottawa.

Trudeau would not discuss details about how their release came about but he thanked Canadian
Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have been held in China since late 2018. They were arrested on espionage charges in China shortly after the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on a US warrant related to the company’s business dealings in Iran. However, China has consistently denied that the cases were in any way connected.

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Earlier Friday, the United States Department of Justice and Meng reached an agreement to defer prosecution of US charges against her until late 2022, after which point the charges could be dropped.

China Releases Two Canadian Detained For Morethan 1000 Days

The US case centered on whether Meng misled HSBC bank about Huawei’s relationship with an Iranian subsidiary, Skycom, which the US alleges would have violated US sanctions against Iran.

Meng appeared virtually in a court in Brooklyn, New York, and pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud.

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However, as part of the deal, Meng confirmed the statement of facts in the deferred prosecution agreement are true. Those facts include that she misrepresented Huawei’s relationship with Skycom to HSBC, according to court documents. If she says or implies otherwise, it could violate the terms of the deal and result in her prosecution.
CNN affiliate CTV News says it has confirmed that Meng left Canada aboard a private jet Friday evening.

Cnn.com

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