**Help Tunde pay for his legal fees and return to the UK and his asylum claim!**
Tunde Olamide (name changed due to fears in Nigeria) has been deported into destitution in Nigeria without receiving an answer to his asylum claim, and was given only 1 day to challenge his removal.
Tunde Olamide* was one passenger on the “Operation Majestic” mass deportation charter flight to Nigeria and Ghana that left on January 31st, removing up to 50 people to Nigeria and 20 to Ghana.
Speaking from a homeless shelter in Lagos, Tunde said that when he went to “report” at his local Home Office branch – a weekly or monthly requirement for people seeking asylum – on January 26th, he was detained and held at Manchester airport for 2 nights.
Tunde reports that he never received a decision on his asylum claim, and was still receiving his allocated asylum support – £36 weekly and government-contracted housing – when he was detained.
Tunde said, “In 2005, around christmas, my family were killed by Boko Haram. Our church in Kaduna state was burnt down, with the congregation. They disliked that my father had converted from Islam to Christianity and built a church in the area. I was lucky to be at university campus when it happened.”
Amnesty reports that, due to violent insurgencies by Boko Haram – a violent product of French and British colonial rivalries in west Africa – over 2 million people have been internally displaced in northern Nigeria alone, and approximately 170,000 people have fled to neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger. At the end of 2015, Boko Haram were found to be responsible for more deaths than Daesh (ISIS), with the most recently reported attack on February 24th 2017.
After two nights at Manchester airport, Tunde was taken to Harmondsworth detention centre at around 11pm on the 28th of January. The next day – Sunday, when solicitors and support groups were unreachable – Tunde was given a ticket for the charter flight, scheduled to leave 2 days later.
According to Home Office policy, when deportations take place via a charter flight, detainees must be informed at least 5 working days before the flight is scheduled to depart.
With only 1 day between being issued a ticket and the scheduled flight, Tunde had little chance to pursue any legal avenues open to stopping his removal. He said, “I managed to lodge a judicial review, but they did not allow me to receive the confirmation. I was locked up, not allowed to go out.”
Oyekunle, another detainee set to be removed on the same charter flight to Nigeria had similarly never received a decision on his asylum claim, but managed to get off the flight with the help of a barrister.