23rd June 2016
RAPAR is seriously concerned that Serco – North West provider of asylum accommodation for the Home Office - is threatening to evict a family from their Rochdale home on Tuesday, June 28th.
Mrs Abiola Olaoye and her three children have been in the UK since 2009 when they left Nigeria after her daughter was threatened with Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by her father’s family. Abiola’s eldest daughter died after undergoing the same procedure.
The family’s ongoing asylum case has been under consideration by the Home Office since August 2011. On June 15th of this year Abiola was handed a letter by her Serco housing manager which said she must leave the accommodation on June 28th. Yesterday Abiola received a letter from the Home Office, dated June 14th, which said she no longer qualified for housing support because her application for asylum had been refused on 11th April 2016.
Noone has told Abiola this: neither she nor her solicitor have received any decision from the Home Office about her asylum application. Currently, her solicitor is trying to clarify the situation with the Home Office as a matter of urgency.
In the meantime, Abiola’s youngest child is having to complete his A level examinations with the threat of eviction on Tuesday hanging over his head and the two older children have been unable to progress into higher education despite their high academic attainment.
Quaker Elizabeth Coleman who has worked with Abiola says:
“I understand that neither Abiola nor her lawyer have received any notice whatsoever of any home office decision to reject her application for asylum. Abiola applied for asylum because of the fear of her daughter being forced to undergo FGM. Now she is facing eviction from her home with very little warning. This seems unjust and inhumane.”
Nick Wigmore, Secretary of Rochdale NUT and a member of the Union’s National Executive says:
“Rochdale NUT fully supports Abiola's human right to remain in the UK and to protect her children. Forcing this family to return to a country where they face such danger is utterly unacceptable.”
We are appalled that the Home Office is saying they reached a decision on Abiola’s asylum case in April, without informing either her or her solicitor of this. The first time Abiola realised there was a potential problem was when she received the letter from her housing manager saying she must quit the property on June 28th or face eviction proceedings.
Dianne Ngoza, speaking on behalf of RAPAR, says:
“The UK asylum system is failing Abiola and her family. How can a country that claims to advocate human rights do this to a mother with her children? It is incomprehensible that a developed country can put a family through so much suffering. RAPAR is determined to do everything to win this case: Abiola must be granted her stay and enjoy the freedom that is her family’s right.”
For an example of previous international press coverage see:
For further information contact:
Kath Grant on 07758386208/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Rhetta Moran on 07776264646/ email@example.com