Nigerian family with dual citizenship wins immigration suit in UK


A United Kingdom Immigration and Asylum First-tier Tribunal has barred Secretary of State for Home Department from removing a Liberian-Nigerian family with dual citizenship, Mr. Gavin Gabriel, his wife and three kids (appellants), from the country.

The Presiding Judge, Herbert Obe, also awarded a cost of €140 pounds in favour of his family.

According to a copy of the judgment held November 4, 2016 and made available to The Guardian, the judge held that “neither of the appellants is liable for deportation.”

“Firstly, the children especially the two eldest have through no fault of their own established a significant private and family life in the UK with their parents.

“And therefore, I have regard to the fact that both the eldest children have been in the UK for more than seven years and the eldest is entitled to apply for British citizenship.”

The Liberian (first appellant) married to Nigerian and have lived in England for 21 years, had challenged the Secretary of State for Home Affairs decision to remove him and his family from the UK over issues bordering on immigration.

Gabriel further told the tribunal his removal from the UK would place the country in breach of Article 8, under its international obligations.

However, the respondent had argued that there were no insurmountable obstacles that would prevent the first appellant children from “returning as a family unit either to Liberia or Nigeria.”

But the appeal judge held that there would be significant hardship faced for the children particularly the two eldest children who would find it extremely difficult to re-adjust to life in either Nigeria or Liberia.

He said: “ Nigeria is a country without an established social services or support network and therefore one is entirely reliant upon one’s own family or employment for means of accommodation and support.

“Liberia is a country devastated by civil war which is still recovering suffering also from the after effects of the Ebola epidemic which devastated the country.

“Neither country is an easy or reasonable prospect notwithstanding the fact that both parents’ origin are clearly there if one has no means of accommodation, maintenance or other family support to turn to.”

The judgement further condemned the order for them to leave and alleged harassment and intimidation of Gavin Gabriel and family noting that neither the first nor second appellant or their dependent children are liable to deportation .

The judge added: “Therefore, I recognise that public interest does not require the person’s removal where the person has a genuine and subsisting parental relationship with a qualifying child; and it would not be reasonable to expect the child to leave the United Kingdom.”

Other appellants in the appeal included his wife, Helen Steven (a Liberian) and his three children.

In the appeal marked IA/32794/2015 Gabriel filed through his lawyer, Mr. P. Alagh, he said he arrived in the UK on December 5, 1995 and claimed asylum which, according to him, was refused on February 21, 1997.

Gabriel said he afterwards applied on September 6, 2007 under Article 8 for leave to remain in the UK which was refused on October 1, 2013 with no right of appeal.

According to him, a judicial review of the decision was lodged and the matter was subject to reconsideration.

The appellant also relied on a letter of testimony from his kids’ school which among others stated: “we support the request of the Gabriel family to remain itthe UK and for the children to continue attending our primary School and Children’s Centre in order for them to continue building on the roots they have already established in London.”
Gavin Gabriels’ family head, Peter Asemota, who spoke to The Guardian in Nigeria, accused the Southwark Council police of harassment and intimidation as well as breach of the fundamental human rights of his brother following an appeal judgement in his favour which faulted the bid of the Home Office Immigration Enforcement in the UK to deport or deny them right to work, school and reside in the country with all social services and welfare benefits as citizens.

In letter addressed to the House of Commons by Gavin Gabriel, he alleged that he was constantly being attacked even after he moved to Glasgow, Scotland after residing in England for 21 years. He appealed to the House of Commons to ask No Recourse To Public Funds Team in Southwark Council and Police why they want to allegedly take his life or destroy his family.
Part of the letter reads: “I want the House to please ask No Recourse To Public Funds Team in Southwark Council and Southwark Council Police, why they want to want to take my life or destroy my family with their power in secret.

“ Even now that I live in Scotland, they extend their influence to finish their unfinished business in my life. As a result, if I die or become disable in any part of my body from now till 20 years time, Southwark Council is responsible.”

Another letter with reference number G347088/2 from the Immigration Enforcement Home Office addressed to Mr. Gavin Gabriel said: “Following your allowed appeal on the basis of your human rights, it was decided at your appeal that you do not qualify for Leave to Remain in the United Kingdom under the Immigration Rules.

“However, due to your particular circumstances it was considered that you qualify for Leave to Remain outside the Immigration Rules. The Home Office is therefore writing to advise you that you have been granted a period of leave outside the rules on an exceptional basis.

“What this means for you is , we have endorsed your biometric resident permit with limited leave to Remain in the United Kingdom initially for 30 months.”

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