LBW

Sunday, 7 June 2015

UK To Deport Nign Despite Pregnant British Partner!




A member of the Nigerian Olympic boxing squad who came to the UK for the London 2012 Games was locked up in immigration detention despite marrying a British woman who is pregnant with his child.

Adedayo Victor Daodu, 25, known as Victor, arrived in the UK in June 2012 to train as a sparring partner with the Nigerian team.

Last week he was sent to Dungavel immigration removal centre in South Lanarkshire and threatened with imminent deportation back to Lagos, to the horror of his Wigan-born wife, Robyn, who is seven months pregnant with their first child. It is the second time he has been detained by immigration officers and sent to Dungavel this year.

Robyn’s parents, both psychiatric nurses, have begun a campaign to keep their family – and unborn grandchild – in the country.

In a letter to the Home Office, they wrote: “When we first met Victor we were both sceptical about his intentions and questioned him relentlessly about who he was and what he was all about.

“We were able to use our experience as psychiatric nurses to ascertain whether or not Victor was genuine and whether or not what he was telling us was the truth. Since that time we can both honestly say that Victor is a genuinely humble man who is deeply religious and also deeply loves our daughter Robyn.”

The couple’s case is also being supported by their Labour MP, Debbie Abrahams, who managed to get Daodu released from Dungavel on Thursday.

Eric Noi, director of Oldham Boxing and Personal Development Centre, where Daodu has been training for the past 18 months, described him as “a true and honest man, a loving husband who wants to be a good father”.

Before the Games began, Daodu decided to sign up for the British army and claims to have passed the written and physical selection tests to join the Royal Logistic Corps. While awaiting his final selection test, he applied to extend his visa so that he could stay in Britain before enlisting.



Victor Daodu was held in an immigration detention centre until local MP Debbie Abrahams intervened on his behalf. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

The Guardian has seen correspondence from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) dated January 2013 that acknowledged his visa application and advised him “not to make any urgent travel plans until we have decided the application and returned the passports or travel documents”.

Daodu took this to mean he should stay in the UK while he waited rather than returning to Nigeria.

Meanwhile, he had met and fallen in love with Robyn Jones, now 27, who was studying for a degree in health and social care in Hull.



New British citizens are a cause for celebration, not concern

The pair met on the Plenty of Fish dating website in November 2012 and moved in together in a house in Salford in July 2013. The day they moved, Daodu received an email from the army that told him the government had just changed recruitment guidelines so that, from 11 July, all Commonwealth citizens wishing to join the regular army had to provide proof of “indefinite leave to remain” or five years’ residency in the UK. In January 2014 his application to join the army was refused.

Desperate to stay together, Robyn helped him apply for asylum on the grounds that he would be subject to persecution in Nigeria if it became known he had tried to join the British army.

On New Year’s Day 2014, with his asylum claim pending, the pair got engaged. They applied to get married, and were interviewed separately by at Manchester register office to ascertain whether their marriage was a sham. Daodu showed as proof of his identity his UKBA “application registration card” with his picture and date of birth, showing that he was forbidden from taking employment while his application to stay in the UK was being processed.

The couple claim an official in Burnley initially did not know whether the couple could marry given his uncertain immigration status. But after advice from the Home Office helpline he gave them the necessary permission. They were married in April 2014.

In July 2014 his asylum claim was refused. He appealed several times, and was most recently refused leave to stay in March this year. In a letter to his solicitors, the Home Office said the couple should instead move to Nigeria, a country Robyn has never visited. In addition, both of her parents are registered disabled, and she said she acted as a carer for them when not working as a nursing assistant.



FacebookTwitterPinterest Last week Victor Daodu was sent to Dungavel immigration removal centre in South Lanarkshire, pictured, and threatened with imminent deportation back to Lagos. Photograph: Maurice McDonald/PA

“Whilst it is acknowledged that Robyn Daodu is pregnant this does not constitute an insurmountable obstacle to family life continuing in your client’s country of origin,” said the letter, seen by the Guardian. “It is considered that the standard of living conditions, employment and education prospects available to your client and his family in Nigeria is something that could reasonably be expected to be overcome, even with a degree of hardship for one or more of the family members concerned.”

So far the couple say they have spent £4,000 on legal fees trying to stay together in the UK, largely borrowed from Robyn’s 84-year-old grandmother. “My nan has had to lend us her funeral money. How bad is that?” said Robyn in an interview on Friday.

After the London Games, a number of stories surfaced in the media about athletes from other countries absconding from the Olympic village. Reports at the time suggested three of the four Guinean athletes competing went awol, along with five from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and seven Cameroonians.

But Noi said Daodu was paying the price for his honesty: “He’s the victim of a flawed, outdated process, which dehumanises and takes common sense out of the equation. Victor is easy fodder for the immigration services. He has complied at every turn – he signs on, he doesn’t work, even though he has plenty of offers from people at the gym, believe me. They don’t have to chase him or raid anywhere to find him.”

He said he was confident that Daodu’s case was genuine and that he would be a positive addition to society.

“I am confident that if he is allowed to stay he will – without a shadow of doubt – make a positive contribution. His religion gives him a really strong moral conscience. He’s already volunteering and helping out at the gym when he can,” said Noi, adding that Daodu was easily good enough to box professionally.

Noi said Britain had a duty to Commonwealth citizens such as Daodu after the years of “raping and pillaging and enslaving Commonwealth nations”.

“All he wanted to do was come over here and serve our country,” said Noi.

Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, where the couple are now living, said: “I’m glad to hear that Victor has been reunited with Robyn and we’ll continue to offer support as his leave to remain application is considered.”

The Home Office said it did not routinely comment on individual cases.

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