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03.04.2024 Featured Family ‘Facing Threats to Life in Nigeria’ Granted 6-Month Reprieve by Canadian Gov’t

Published 3rd Apr, 2024

By Tola Owoyele

The Adegboyes, a Canada-based Nigerian family scheduled for deportation on April 5, have been granted temporary permission to stay in the North American country for another six months.

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the temporary residence permit was granted by Canada’s federal immigration office on Tuesday evening to allow the family remain in the country while they pursue a bid for permanent residence on humanitarian grounds.

“Hopefully, if they receive a positive decision on their permanent residence application, they will stay permanently,” said Vakkas Bilson, the family’s lawyer.

Deborah Adegboye and Her Children

READ ALSO: Protests As Canada Plans To Deport Family Facing ‘Threats to Life by Nigerian Cultists’

The Canadian immigration office’s latest decision to grant the Nigerian family the temporary permit has been commended by various civil rights groups who, for many weeks, protested against their planned deportation.

“These are people who are making an exceptional contribution,” said Cliche-Rivard, an immigration lawyer.

“Both are patient attendants for very vulnerable people. Their children are educated in French, and they’ve been here since 2017.

“It’s a bit a failure of the system that it (the deportation plan) got this far.”

On Tuesday morning, FIJ published a story on how Deborah Adegboye, a member of the family, had said they were at risk of being persecuted if deported to Nigeria by Canada’s immigration office.

READ ALSO: 2 Judges Mysteriously Quit Suit Filed by Nigerian Doctor Bullied in Canada

The Canadian government, as part of its plan to deport the family to Nigeria on April 5, had bought flight tickets in each member’s name.

According to Deborah, trouble began for her family after her husband converted to Christianity and refused to take over as the high priest of a cult while they resided in Nigeria. His decision to exit the cult was rejected by fellow members and he began receiving threats from them. The threats also led to the cult attempting to kidnap the couple’s son. The incessant threats to their lives by the cult eventually forced the family to flee to Canada via an unofficial border crossing in 2017.

After settling down, and despite their status as illegal immigrants, the couple began working within Canada’s public health system as personal support workers. During the period, they had two additional children.

They first saw their asylum application get rejected by the immigration office over doubts about the risks they claimed they faced if deported to Nigeria in 2020.

READ ALSO: How Nigerian Teacher Stuck in Canada Got Permanent Residency

After this, the family again applied for permanent residency, citing humanitarian and compassionate reasons, but their requests were still not granted.

On March 3, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) purchased the family’s tickets that would see them get flown back to Nigeria. The Adegboyes were notified of this on March 13.

The government’s action subsequently led to many days of protest by several rights groups in front of Marc Miller, the country’s immigration minister’s office.

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Published 3rd Apr, 2024

By Tola Owoyele

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