A Nigerian man who has been living in Liverpool, UK for the past 16 years is fighting a government decision to deport him.
According to ECHO, Barido Nwinaene arrived in the city on a student visa and studied for a degree in business and marketing at Liverpool Hope University.
Nwinaene, who is now 35 years old, went on to obtain a master’s in computer information systems at Liverpool John Moores University.
He lives in his friend’s flat in Toxteth and has a 10-year-old daughter, now living in the Midlands.
But after exhausting appeals to remain on Merseyside, the Home Office has ruled he must return to Nigeria.
Nwinaene argues that he is a fully integrated citizen in Liverpool, a place he considers home, and has many friends and an uncle.
Since acquiring his qualifications, he has not worked because he has been unable to secure the relevant visa for employment.
But letters from the Home Office appear to indicate that because Nwinaene has spent nine years and eight months in the UK with “lawful leave” – during his studies and lengthy appeal process – it is just short of the 10-year continuous residence required to remain in the country.
Riverside Member of Parliament, Kim Johnson, is supporting her constituent and has told the Home Office that, “As a member of our public who calls this country his home, and has contributed so much already to is community, both local and academic, I feel it would benefit Mr Nwinaene greatly to receive permanent status.”
The Toxteth man believes he will face significant hardship if he was forced to return to Nigeria and will be made homeless.
At one point, about five years ago, he spent six months being transferred to different detention centres around the UK, in Glasgow, London and Manchester before he was allowed back to Merseyside.
In an interview, Nwinaene said he would face significant hardship and homelessness if he was forced to return to Nigeria.
“Liverpool is my home and has been for the last 16 years. It would be devastating to return to Nigeria, I’ve not been able to get hold of any family there for a long time. I ‘m really integrated in Liverpool and Toxteth and I can offer a lot to the city and community. I have fought a long battle with the Home Office, I would like them to grant me permanent residency.”
However, a Home Office spokesperson said, “All applications are carefully considered on their individual merits, on the basis of the evidence provided and in accordance with the immigration rules. This case has been tested before the courts and our position has been upheld.”