Asylum-seeking gay man deported to Nigeria from UK
A GAY man, Adeniyi Raji, has been deported from the UK to Nigeria.
Raji, 48, was among at least 10 refugees on the country’s Home Office charter flight to Lagos that took off from Birmingham Airport last night (29 June).
He arrived in Britain in 2017 from Nigeria to escape death threats that were being sent to him on social media.
Being gay is illegal and punishable by up to 14 years in jail.
After applying for asylum, he was immediately detained.
A first-tier immigration tribunal rejected his asylum application, and his case failed at appeal – the courts claimed it was safe for him to return.
Before the flight took off, human rights activist Bella Sankey said Raji would face “near-certain death” if he was sent back to Nigeria.
“He has been subjected to a vicious homophobic attack in Nigeria, his ex-partner has been killed and he has been told he will be killed if he is returned to Nigeria,” she tweeted.
Raji told the Guardian in 2018 that he came to the UK “to seek refuge and humanitarian protection” because his “life was in danger in Nigeria”.
“I was attacked on several occasions,” he said. “[My] ex-wife caught me and my former partner in bed. As soon as she saw us, she immediately raised the alarm. People gathered and started beating us severely. After that, she divorced me.”
Raji was fired from his job and his name and picture were splashed across newspapers by the police. “They kept saying that anyone who has useful information that could lead to my arrest should come forward [so that I can] face the wrath of the land as a result of my sexual orientations,” he said.
“So after all that we did to you before, you are still a practising homosexual,” read one threat sent to him. “Wait until we see you down here, that will be the end of you.”
Despite this, Raji was placed on the deportation flight.