Isa Muazu: Nigeria to accept UK deportee’s plane
Nigeria says it has given permission for a plane to land in the country should the Home Office try again to deport a failed asylum seeker.
Isa Muazu was returned to the UK after a private jet chartered to take him to Nigeria on Friday was turned back.
According to officials the relevant documents for the flight had not been completed.
Mr Muazu, on hunger strike for more than 100 days, has said he fears being killed by Islamic extremists.
A spokesman for Nigeria’s aviation ministry told the BBC that permission had now been granted for a privately chartered jet carrying Mr Muazu to land in Nigeria, although he said it was not clear if any flight was imminent.
The Home Office has rejected Mr Muazu’s arguments and attempted to deport the 45-year-old on Friday after he lost a series of legal challenges.
He has been detained since claiming asylum in July, saying he faced persecution from the militant Islamic group Boko Haram.
Mr Muazu entered the UK on a visitor’s visa in July 2007 and stayed without permission after it expired in January 2008.
It is believed he then found work in south-east London and was detained on the day he claimed asylum, 25 July of this year.
Duncan Lewis Solicitors, representing Mr Muazu, said his case was then fast-tracked and his application rejected in August.
The firm said he had made himself “seriously ill” in his protest, adding: “His hunger strike lasted for over 100 days”.
A claim that his detention was unlawful was rejected by the Court of Appeal on 25 November, and two last-minute appeals were also refused, his lawyers said.
Labour believes the government has questions to answer over the case.
After the plane was prevented from landing in Nigeria, Shadow immigration minister David Hanson said: “Deportations should be carried out with competence and humanity – neither of those things seem to have happened in this case”.
Mr Muazu’s lawyers say he has returned to the medical wing at Harmondsworth detention centre near Heathrow.
The Nigerian is 5ft 11in (1.8m) tall, weighs eight stone (53kg) and has described himself as “looking like a skeleton”, his lawyers have said.
He has said that he came to the UK “for a better life” and would “rather die” than face removal.