Nigerian sues UK for ‘refusing him entry despite visa’


Adeyemi Opebiyi, a Nigerian, has reportedly sued the United Kingdom for refusing him entry into the country, after he was allegedly granted a visa and arrived at the airport in Manchester.

Opebiyi, identified as the head of operations of Sabi MicroFinance Bank Limited, said the incident occurred in March 2021.

According to Punch, Opebiyi said despite being detained, and asked to draw his company’s logo, among other activities to prove that he was a staff member of the microfinance bank, he was still denied entry into the UK.

He also alleged that he was detained for 10 days, before he was deported to Nigeria.

A suit filed by Femi Aina, a UK-based lawyer and counsel to Opebiyi, before the upper tribunal (immigration and asylum chamber) in UK, is said to have the secretary of state for home department (UK) as the sole respondent to the suit.

“The applicant spent 16 hours on his flight to London (Lagos-Doha-Manchester). He was held for about eight hours by the respondent for further examination. He was interviewed after eight hours’ waiting and was asked to draw the company logo. Despite the fatigue and the flight stress, he tried his best possible to draw the company’s logo. The respondent’s action is oppressive as it does not have regard for his well-being,” the court document reads.

“The applicant showed his ID card, his MD confirmed his employment. The letter dated 9th April, 2018 and the one dated 12 August, 2020 from the CBN relates to his employment. His bank statement shows regular salary payment. All the above are relevant evidence regarding his employment. The respondent’s decision that he was not employed, or that false information was used in obtaining his visa, is wrong.

“By reason of the matters aforesaid, the applicant was unlawfully detained and deprived of his liberty for 10 days at Immigration Detention Centre (Colynbrook) from the date of his arrival, 14th March 2021 up to the date of his removal i.e. 24 March, 2021.

“The respondent has acted in a way that is incompatible with the applicant’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, contrary to Section 6(1) as a public authority carrying out Immigration Control.”

Speaking on his alleged experience in the court documents, Opebiyi said he felt humiliated.

“I was humiliated and distressed about the whole matter. A week after returning to Nigeria I could not go to work as I was mentally unstable. I have never stayed in detention in my life. The whole experience is affecting me psychologically till now. Anytime I hear detention or see anything about the UK, I cringe. I lost my savings on a fruitless journey to the UK. I am a victim of injustice,” the document reads.

Citing funds allegedly spent on the trip to the UK, money paid to his lawyer, among others, the banker said he is entitled to a claim of between £5,000 and £20,000, with interest.


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