Private jet ready to deport ‘close to death’ Nigerian hunger striker from the UK

asylum seeker clutching cage grill

The Home Office has reserved a private jet to deport a man who has been on hunger strike in immigration detention for nearly 100 days.

Isa Muazu’s lawyers are making final attempts to prevent his removal on Friday. They argue that Mr Muazu, who is now so thin he has been described as “close to death”, is too unwell to fly.

Mr Muazu was originally supposed to be flown to Nigeria on a Virgin Atlantic flight on Wednesday, but the booking was scrapped in favour of one for Friday. His new flight number EDC684 is registered with Air Scotland Charter Ltd, an aviation firm whose fleet includes Alan Sugar’s private plane.

It is not known how much the flight will cost, but a similar aircraft used to deport radical preacher Abu Qatada to Jordan was estimated to cost the Home Office more than £50,000 to hire.

The case that Mr Muazu was being held unlawfully was rejected in the Court of Appeal on Monday. He originally claimed asylum in July, saying that he faced persecution from the hardline Islamist group Boko Haram. His case was fast-tracked and was refused in August, just seven days after his interview.

A spokesman for the Home Office did not deny the department had booked the jet and said: “We do not routinely comment on individual cases”.

Read more: The Independent

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