Sunday, July 19, 2009

Aspiring Nigerian family in Britain fear deportation

After four years of living in Britain. Saskia Iloba (in the picture above) and her family face deportation back to Nigeria because British authorities claim the family did not provide a strong enough case to remain in Britain.

The family fled Nigeria four years ago after their father was murdered. They say the death of their father (who was a policeman) was a politically motivated killing and potential danger awaits them if they return  to Nigeria.

17 year old Saskia Iloba, was a head girl at North Manchester High School and was studying for her A-levels. She's planning to become a doctor. Her 18 year old brother, Toby, had just completed his A-Levels at Loreto College in Manchester and was looking into studying economics at university, he's also into football and had a trial with Stockport County. The youngest sibling, 14 year old Emanuel, is a great footballer, he was scouted by several English Premier League clubs and began  training with Bolton Wanderers. He also signed a sponsorship deal with major German sportswear company Puma.

A request for a review into the Iloba family's right to stay in Britain was recently denied. The entire family,including their mother Betty, were taken from their home in Falinge, Rochdale, and are now awaiting deportation in Yarl's Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire.

Saskia Iloba made a farewell speech at school that brought tears to pupils and staff of North Manchester High according to head Marian Catterall:

"In all my years of teaching, I have never come across a better ambassador for young people."

"After leaving on the prom, she made a speech and told all the girls that they were some of the luckiest people and they had received a wonderful education and should go out and lead good lives."

"Everyone had tears in their eyes. She made the best speech I had ever heard."

It is astonishing that someone like this, who has so much to offer, is being forced out of the country."

Their mother, Mrs Iloba, says she now fears for her children's safety:

"The People who murdered my husband had threatened us before. I thought we could get safety here."

"I am so worried for my children. They are going to give me serious problems when I go back to Nigeria."

A family friend, Diane Newton added: "There are people with criminal convictions who get permission to stay but a nice family like this are being sent back."

"These are the sort of people we want in Britain. Whatever the Home Office say, I believe every word they told me. They wouldn't take any charity and are genuinely terrified about going back."

A spokesman for the Home Office released this statement: "It is our responsibility to enforce the decisions of the courts and send them home."


Related story: Iloba family deported

Video report of Nigerians rioting in China. First protest by foreign nationals in China

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