IPOB: UK to consider applications for asylum based on merit

The United Kingdom has said applications for asylum by members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra will be considered based on their individual merit.

The Head of Communications, British High Commission in Nigeria, Mr. Dean Hurlock confirmed this according to The PUNCH.

The UK Visas and Immigration had last month released new guidelines to its decision makers on how to consider and grant asylum applications by members of Biafran secessionist groups.

However, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the move was disrespectful to Nigeria because IPOB had been proscribed by the Federal Government.

The UK subsequently took down the guidelines and promised to update it soon.

When queried in an interview on whether IPOB members still qualified, 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.”

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