Adeniyi Raji, a gay man from Nigeria facing deportation from the United Kingdom for the second time, is expected to be on board a controversial British Home Office charter flight that would convey deportees to Nigeria and Ghana on Wednesday.
According to The Guardian, other immigrants that are expected to be deported to both west African countries are mothers and grandmothers who have lived in the UK for decades.
When Raji was first confronted with a possible deportation by the authorities in 2017, the 48-year-old Nigerian said he needed protection to avoid being killed in his country because of his sexual orientation.
“I’m in the UK because I need protection. If I’m returned to Nigeria, they will kill me,” Raji said.
He went on to share screenshots of death threats he had received from Nigerians before fleeing the country back then.
“So after all that we did to you before, you are still a practising homosexual. Wait until we see you down here, that will be the end of you,” one of the threats he received read.
Raji fled Nigeria after his ex-wife caught him in bed with his former partner in their Lagos home. He claimed his ex-wife then raised the alarm, which led to people gathering to beat him severely.
He added that he was subsequently declared wanted by the Nigerian police and was also sacked from work by his former employer as a result of the incident.
However, the Home Office has declared that it was returning people that fall into Raji’s category because it had been deemed safe by the court.
“The UK only ever returns individuals to their country of origin when the Home Office and, where applicable, the courts deem it is safe to do so,” a spokesperson said.
In Nigeria, homosexual acts are punishable with up to 14 years in prison. Gay marriage and displays of same-sex affection are also outlawed. After Pakistan and Bangladesh, Nigeria is the country that produces the largest number of asylum claims based on sexual orientation.
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