Campaigners are fighting to stop the deportation of a gay man to “homophobic” Nigeria where he fears for his life, Pink News reports.
Olamiekan Ayelokun claims he fled the country eight years ago to escape homophobic persecution.
Speaking to the Independent last night from Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre, Mr Ayelokun said: “I feel terrible, traumatised. I am very afraid they are going to kill me in Nigeria.”
The LGBT campaign organisation AllOut has begun an online petition to halt the deportation, pointing out that David Cameron said in 2010 that gay refugees from Africa should be granted asylum if they had a “well-founded fear of persecution”.
Mr Ayelokun has been trying to stay in the UK ever since his visa expired in 2003.
However, a removal order was made by a judge at Bradford’s immigration court, who refused to believe that Mr Ayelokun is gay, despite the testimony of former boyfriends.
His lawyers believe the removal of Mr Ayelokun could happen within the next few days and have applied for an appeal case to be heard at the High Court.
The UK Border Agency said that Mr Ayelokun had lived illegally in the UK since 2003 and had only claimed asylum last year.
A spokesman added: “At no point has he been able to provide sufficient evidence of his sexuality and our decision not to grant him asylum has been upheld by an independent immigration judge.”
Last week, campaigners demonstrated in front of the Home Office to demand a halt to the policy of detaining and deporting gay men and lesbians back to African countries.
The maximum punishment for same-sex sexual activity in Nigeria is 14 years’ in jail; in regions under Sharia law this can include a sentence of death by stoning.
In May of this year, Michael Cashman MEP and co-president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights called on the country to abolish its draconian anti-gay laws and said: “Nigeria is already among the world’s top oppressors of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people”.
There is no accurate system for ‘counting-in and counting-out’ the millions of people who arrive in the UK on Tier 4 student visas, tourist visas or as dependants, which makes it almost impossible to know how many people have overstayed in the first place.
There are between 500,000 to 700,000 people living in the UK illegally, which the think tank ippr estimated would take 20 years at a cost of £5 billion to remove.
Cynthia Barker of Immigration Advisers Bison Management warns overstayers not to use unqualified illegal advisers.
‘If you have overstayed you should seek advice from a qualified immigration adviser who is regulated by the OISC’.
The UK Border Agency has implemented a number of important changes to the Immigration Rules concerning those who overstay their visa, which came into effect on 1 October.
New Rules will apply for anyone extending a visa on or after 1 October 2012.
If you are applying to extend your visa under the points-based system, all working and student routes, visiting routes, long residency routes and discharged HM Forces and UK ancestry routes, will fall under the new rules.
The new rules mean that if you are here on limited leave to enter or remain in the UK and now wish to extend your visa, you must apply within 28 days of your current visa expiring.
Your extension application for further leave will be refused if you have overstayed your visa by more than 28 days from application.
If you need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed down, Visa, ILR, Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a UK Border Agency or British Embassy refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email: