by Oke Efagene
The near-death Nigerian, Isa Muazu, whose deportation from the United Kingdom was deterred by the Nigerian government earlier this month, has been quietly deported to Nigeria yesterday.
Muazu has been on hunger strike since September to protest the Home Office’s attempt to deport him.
He claimed that he feared for his life in the hands of Islamic extremists, Boko Haram, who might kill him if he returned to Nigeria.
According to reports:
The British government tried to deport Mr. Muazu from the Harmondsworth detention centre, where he was being held, in a private jet after he lost his suit to remain in the UK at an immigration tribunal and the British Appeal Court; but the Nigerian authorities denied the plane the right to land.
Mr. Muazu claimed he is likely to be killed by the dreaded Islamist group Boko Haram if returned to Nigeria. He then embarked on a three-month hunger strike saying he would rather die than be returned to Nigeria.
Mr. Muazu who is suffering from severe mental illness alongside hepatitis B, kidney problem and stomach ulcer was flown to the Lagos airport and has been checked into a hospital for “appropriate” medical attention at the cost of the British government.
British Immigration Minister, Mark Harper, said Mr. Muazu has “no right” to be in the U.K and has been “successfully removed,” reported the BBC.
“Halting the removal of Mr. Muazu because of his protest would undermine our asylum and immigration system – and provide a dangerous incentive for others to follow suit,” Mr. Harper said.
Mr. Muazu entered the U.K. on a valid visa but stayed back five years after his visa expired claiming his life was under threat by the Boko Haram militia.
Previous attempts to deport Mr. Muazu sparked controversy in the U.K. with over a hundred rights groups, actors and lawyers starting a campaign to prevent his deportation on humanitarian ground.