United Kingdom has rejected a blanket ban on members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) who apply for asylum.
According to the Head of Communications, British High Commission in Nigeria, Mr. Dean Hurlock, the UK stated that all applications will be considered on their individual merit.
In a chat with The PUNCH on whether IPOB is qualified for asylum, Hurlock said applications by all Nigerian nationals would be treated on their individual merit.
He said, “This latest guidance is currently under review and has no longer been made available on our UK Government GOV.UK website.
“All asylum and human rights claims from Nigeria nationals, as is the case with all foreign nationals, are carefully considered on their individual merits in accordance with our international obligations.
“We publish reports in this way so it is clearer and fairer for all involved (applicants, their lawyers, judges, stakeholders such as the UNHCR). All UK asylum decisions can be appealed in the immigration courts, which are public.”
When asked if IPOB members would be given asylum if they qualify, he responded, “Every case is assessed on its own merit. If that guidance had never existed, we should still expect to consider a well meaning application fairly and follow due process.”
Recall that the federal government had warned the government of the United Kingdom against its reported plan to grant asylum to members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The Nigerian government in its submission said the UK government will be undermining security in Nigeria by its actions if it goes ahead with such plans.
The UK government had according to reports, unveiled plans to grant asylum to persecuted members of IPOB and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).
But reacting to the plan by the UK government, Nigeria’s Minister for Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said if indeed the UK government has such plans for IPOB and MASSOB members, then something is wrong somewhere, adding that it will be sabotage against Nigeria’s fight against terrorism.
The UK subsequently suspended plans to grant asylum to IPOB and MASSOB and promised to update it soon.