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UK Reviews Asylum Policy, Favours LGBTI, Ignores IPOB Members

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UK Reviews Asylum Policy, Favours LGBTI, Ignores IPOB Members
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UK Reviews Asylum Policy, Favours LGBTI, Ignores IPOB Members

The UK has remained silent about asylum for members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).

The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has reviewed guidelines for its decision makers on how to consider and grant asylum applications made by persons fleeing Boko Haram and ISWAP in northeast Nigeria, TheCable can report.

In a recent review seen by TheCable, UKVI is willing to grant asylum to LGBTI persons or women who work or are in education — and other social groups at risk of attack by extremists in the region.

The UK has remained silent about asylum for members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).

In April 2021, TheCable reported that the UK said it would grant asylum to “persecuted” members of IPOB, which has been designated as a terrorist organisation by the Nigerian government, and MASSOB.

UK Reviews Asylum Policy, Favours LGBTI, Ignores IPOB Members

A few days later, following the report and subsequent complaints from the Nigerian government, the UK pulled down the policy notes, stating that it was being reviewed.

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In the most recent July 2021 review, UKVI updated its designation for insurgent groups in northeast Nigeria, clearly naming them “Islamist extremists” in the region.

It said Nigerians could now claim asylum in the UK if they face “fear of persecution and/or serious harm by members of Boko Haram because of” their “actual or perceived opposition to the group”.

The guidelines, now known as country policy and information note, added that Nigerians could claim asylum if they belong to a social group that is “not compliant with Boko Haram ideology”.

Examples include “women who work or are in education and lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) persons”.

WOMEN AND BOKO HARAM

Boko Haram started as an insurgent group in northeast Nigeria in 2009, but has since gone through numerous changes in leadership, ideology and affiliation.

One thing that seemed to have remained constant is the abduction of women and girls, attacks on schools and general opposition to western education.

In 2016, Boko Haram split into two groups: Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA or ISWAP); and Jamaat Ahl al-Sunna li-Dawa wal-Jihad (JASDJ), which maintained the name Boko Haram.

Following the reported death of Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, a reunion has been reported to have happened between both groups. Boko Haram has continued striking post-reunion, recently injuring two women in the process.

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As a result of Boko Haram’s historical and current records, women, especially women in education, are at more risk of persecution from the group, giving them more preference when seeking asylum.

The UK said “the groups have also forcibly recruited and abducted thousands of men, women and children, subjecting many to intimidation and abuse including sexual violence, forced marriage and using young girls, in particular, to carry person-borne IED’s/as suicide bombers”.

LGBTI: HURT BY BOKO HARAM, REJECTED BY GOVT

In January 2014, former president Goodluck Jonathan, signed into law a bill that criminalises same-sex relationships, defying western pressure over gay rights and provoking criticism from the US, UK and much of the international community.

The law prescribes 14 years imprisonment for same-sex “amorous relationships” and membership of gay rights groups in the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari has come under pressure to repeal the law, but that move has made no progress with the incumbent administration.

UKVI prescribes internal relocation for persons persecuted by Boko Haram in the northeast, suggesting they could be taken to central and southern Nigeria, which is “generally not directly affected by activities” of the group.

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However, members of the LGBTI community can be victimised anywhere in Nigeria, raising the stakes for them, when applying.

“Boko Haram continues to be able to operate in rural areas of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, and to be able to attack targets in rural and urban areas in the North East of the country,” the UKVI said.

“In areas outside of the North East where the threat is from Boko Haram, the authorities are generally able and willing to provide effective protection. Women, LGBTI persons and non-indigenes may face additional discrimination which prevents them from being able to access effective protection.

As a result, the UK is willing to offer protection for such people if the risk of persecution is confirmed.

“The question to be addressed in each case is whether the particular person will face a real risk of persecution on account of their actual or imputed convention reason,” UKVI added.

While women and LGBTI persons are at a higher risk, UKVI added that decision makers “must, however, still consider all claims on an individual basis, taking into account each case’s specific facts”.

Thecable.ng

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Ohanaeze lauds army for maintaining peace in South-East

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Ohanaeze lauds army for maintaining peace in South-East

The Ohanaeze leader, who expressed delight over the GOC’s visit to the Ohanaeze House, said “without peace, nations cannot progress.”

Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has commended the Nigerian Army for its sacrifice in restoring security and peace in the South-East and nation at large.

The President-General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Professor George Obiozor, made the commendation on Wednesday, when the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division, Major-General Taoreed Lagbaja, visited him in his office in Enugu.

Mr Obiozor, who expressed delight over the GOC’s visit to the Ohanaeze House, said “without peace, nations cannot progress.

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“And without the Armed Forces, we will have more problems. They are the pillars of Nigeria’s unity.”

Ohanaeze lauds army for maintaining peace in South-East

The Ohanaeze leader also described the Nigerian Army as one of the best in Africa.

He urged the various armed forces to sustain their efforts toward ensuring peace and security across the country.

Responding, Mr Lagbaja described Ohanaeze Ndigbo as a key stakeholder in managing the affairs within the division’s core Area of Responsibility (AOR).

The GOC said, “Nigerian Army is an instrument of the state that helps to ensure peace, security and stable economic activities.”

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He said the army chose to partner all stakeholders to achieve its mandate.

He commended the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo for advising against the threat by Indigenous People of Biafra to use force to enforce its planned weekly sit-at-home order in the zone.

Mr Lagbaja assured the residents of the zone of adequate security, saying the division would not tolerate any acts that would threaten the prevailing peace in the area.

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FG Wants Due Process For Abba Kyari’s, Denies That For Nnamdi Kanu – IPOB Lawyer.

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FG Wants Due Process For Abba Kyari's, Denies That For Nnamdi Kanu – IPOB Lawyer.
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FG Wants Due Process For Abba Kyari’s, Denies That For Nnamdi Kanu – IPOB Lawyer.

Aloy Ejimakor, lawyer to the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has demanded why the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), wants to follow due process in the extradition of Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, but avoided same in Kanu’s matter.

Ejimakor noted that the AGF’s office shunned legal procedures to hastily bring the IPOB leader from Kenya to Nigeria but now insisted that the arrest warrant issued against suspended DCP Kyari by the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation would follow due process.

The lawyer stated these in an interview with Punch, while reacting to a statement by Malami’s Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Umar Gwandu, who said though the FBI was yet to officially write the AGF Office seeking the transfer of Kyari, everything would be done in line with the rule of law.

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Kyari, the suspended former Head of the police Intelligence Response Team, is under investigation for indicted involvement in a $1.1million internet fraud allegedly committed by Abbas Ramon, popularly known as Hushpuppi, and four others.

FG Wants Due Process For Abba Kyari’s, Denies That For Nnamdi Kanu – IPOB Lawyer.

Ejimakor said, “I do not want to compare apples with oranges but what I can say is the difficulty through which the US is seeking for the transfer of Abba Kyari to the US is illustrative of what Nigeria should have done in the case of Nnamdi Kanu. Kanu probably would have been transferred by Kenya if extradition proceedings were commenced against him.

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“What America is accusing Abba Kyari to have committed is clearly extraditable under the Nigerian laws and the law of the United States because the offences relate to money laundering, bribery, corruption and all that.

“I am not arranging judgment over Abba Kyari whether he committed it or not but the lesson everybody needs to learn, whether anybody is playing the tribal card or not, is: why would somebody believes that Abba Kyari deserves due process and the same person turns around and jubilate after the unlawful transfer otherwise known as extraordinary rendition of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and also seeks to jubilate over the attempted unlawful transfer of (Sunday) Igboho from Benin Republic?

“This type of thing goes to indicate the deep fault lines in Nigeria. Somebody from a part of the country thinks it is okay to grab someone from another country without due process and bring him to Nigeria to answer offences of political character but it is okay for another country to submit itself to seeking due process in the transfer of a citizen of Nigeria to the United States. It is a very deep contradiction.”

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Recall that Malami at a press briefing in Abuja on June 29, 2021 had announced that the IPOB leader was arrested in a foreign country and extradited to Nigeria.

Upon his re-arrest and extradition in June 2021, he was re-arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako for terrorism-related charges and has since been remanded in the custody of the Department of State Services in Abuja.

Kanu’s trial has been adjourned till October 21, 2021.

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UPDATE As IPOB Lawyer Finally Meet Nnamdi Kanu in DSS Custody, Lied Meeting Him Before

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UPDATE As IPOB Lawyer Finally Meet Nnamdi Kanu in DSS Custody, Lied Meeting Him Before
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UPDATE As IPOB Lawyer Finally Meet Nnamdi Kanu in DSS Custody, Lied Meeting Him Before

Barr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor wrote in his Facebook page.

“After weeks of speculations and uncertainties, we have finally seen our Client-Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. We can authoritatively confirm this position to the World.

He is firm and stable, less the burden of solitary confinement and concomitant mental torture arising therefrom. Though the Detaining Authority is giving him medical attention but he still requires advanced medical care, which formed substantial part of the relief in our application before the Court.

He specifically requested that we should extend his heartfelt compliment to Millions of his supporters worldwide and all foreign Governments and institutions who are relentlessly following up. Media houses are indeed not left out of this classification.

ALSO READ:  UK Pulls Down Notice Announcing Asylum For 'Persecuted' IPOB, MASSOB Members

We are winning but your prayers are doing wonders, don’t relent, as you continue to remain law abiding.

We shall continue to keep you all in constant communication on every development around him particularly now that the visit will be more regular than before.
Thank you all and remain blessed”.

Signed
Bar. Ifeanyi Ejiofor
Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s Lead Counsel

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