Biafra

We have evidence to back our asylum offer to persecuted IPOB, MASSOB members – British High Commission tells FG

British High Commissioner

The United Kingdom in its apparent response to the Federal Government of Nigeria said that all asylum and human rights claims are considered on their individual merits in accordance with its international obligations.

The UK noted that it has a history of providing protection to those who need it, in accordance with its international obligations under the Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights.

The Federal Government had accused the British Government of undermining Nigeria’s security by granting asylum to persecuted members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).

IPOB, a secessionist group led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, was proscribe and declared a terrorist organisation by the FG and the Nigerian Armed Forces.

The UKVI directed its decision makers to consider and grant asylum if a person “who actively and openly supports IPOB is likely to be at risk of arrest and detention, and ill-treatment which is likely to amount to persecution.’’

Reacting to the decision by the UK, the FG accused the British Government of supporting terrorism, adding that the decision was disrespectful to the Nigeria.

The Punch Newspaper had sent an enquiry to the British High Commission regarding the development.
“Following the release of the Country Policy and Information Note Nigeria: Biafran secessionist groups, in March by the UKVI, the Nigerian Government has declared this as an act of sabotage. It also accused the UK of supporting terrorism. What’s the reaction of the high commission to these weighty allegations?”

Responding, the British High Commission said; “The UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it, in accordance with our international obligations under the Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights.

“Our country policy and information notes are published on the gov.uk website. They are kept under constant review and updated periodically – an update to the Biafra separatist note is expected shortly. We publish them since our decisions can be appealed in the immigration courts, which are public, so it is clearer and fairer for all involved (applicants, their lawyers, judges, stakeholders such as the UNHCR) to know what our position and evidence base is.

“All asylum and human rights claims from Nigerian nationals are carefully considered on their individual merits in accordance with our international obligations.”

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