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UK Envoy Defends Deportation Of 48 Nigerians


Arkwright-1--CopyBritish High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, has defended the deportation of no fewer than 48 Nigerians from the United Kingdom, few days ago, saying thosen who live in the country illegally can not expect to be allowed to continue to stay.

Arkwright, in a write up made available to The Guardian yesterday, said that Nigerians are always welcome legally to the UK, either for business, leisure or as students, but will not be allowed to continue to stay illegally.

He said 48, and not 500 Nigerians were deported, adding that UK currently hosts up to 250,000 Nigerians, who are living legally in the country.

He noted however, that the United Kingdom would not condone Nigerians, who are staying illegally, just as it will also not condone any other national staying illegally.

“Today up to 250,000 Nigerians are living legally in the UK, making a significant contribution and adding to the rich fabric of our society. Every year around 130,000 Nigerians visit the UK from Nigeria for both business and leisure. Nigerians, who come to the United Kingdom in accordance with our well publicised rules will always be welcome guests.

“So it has been disappointing to read, in a few isolated incidents, inaccurate media reporting of the UK’s policy concerning how we return Nigerians back to their home country when they have been present illegally in the UK.

“The UK cannot ignore those who choose not to play by the rules. Like Nigeria, the United Kingdom operates a robust but fair immigration system. The law in the UK is very clear: those who are in the UK illegally and have made the choice not to leave voluntarily will be required to leave. Decisions to remove people are not made lightly and we adhere to international obligations – particularly the European Convention on Human Rights – and our own clear domestic law. Decisions made can be appealed and challenged under the scrutiny of an impartial judiciary in court. Fairness and transparency are key. We apply the same rules for Nigerians as we do for any foreign visitor to the UK”.

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