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Oor John

UPDATE: After being deported  John’s solicitor’s kept pursuing his case, eventually taking it to the European Court of Human Rights – however, before John’s case could reach the court the UKBA reversed their decision offering John his refugee status and indefinite leave to remain the UK!  John is overjoyed after having been forced out of his home city for two years and is already back at University working on completing his dissertation in Business Studies and hoping to graduate in the winter!  


John Oguchukwu is a student at the University of Glasgow who was deported on July 20th last year, after his claim for asylum and subsequent appeals were all refused.

John is originally from Nigeria. He was forced to flee to the UK nine years ago when his family were murdered and he was tortured by a ritualistic cult. He has been seeking asylum in Britain since then.

Over Christmas 2009, John was detained by the UKBA for ten weeks and his belongings were seized, some of which were not returned.

John was a business student at the University of Glasgow and should be enjoying his honours year right now. He was an excellent student and an active member of the university community. He has been involved with the SRC and was recently shortlisted by the Principal’s Office for a bursary from the Thomas and Margaret Roddan Trust. Prior to his deportation, officials at the University petitioned the Home Secretary to allow John to remain in the UK; the Principal wrote to her on John’s behalf and a number of professors wrote letters of support. The Clerk of Senate has also taken a personal interest in his case, extending great generosity and care to John over the past two years.

Before coming to Glasgow Uni, John attended the Central College of Commerce where he obtained a HND.  His course leader Arlene Brown has said ‘I have no hesitation in recommending him as an asset to this country.’

John was able to attend university thanks to the help of his church and community, who paid his fees. He was an Extraordinary Minister at St. Michael’s Church in the East End of Glasgow and has assisted greatly in the church work for seven years. The Archbishop of Glasgow, Mario Conti, wrote ‘He would be an asset to our country, our community, the parish in which he serves. The parish can be relied upon to give him every support.’

John has established deep and long lasting relationships with people in Glasgow, none more so than Elizabeth Jenkins, his Scottish mum; “John has been unofficially adopted by myself and my family here in Greenock.  I myself being his Scottish mum plus my daughters and grandchildren accept him as a member of our family.  He is a devoted son showing love to myself plus members of my family.  He has proven to be an asset in my family’s life.” Joe and Anne Reilly consider John an extended part of their family “John has become an important member of our community and we would be extremely saddened if he were not allowed to remain with us.  He is such a fine example to all of our young people. I cannot think of anyone who does not have a great admiration for him. In three words everyone loves John. He is a great asset to our society and we all hope and pray he will be allowed to return to us.”

Despite all of the above, John’s claim was refused and he was deported in July.  He was deported alongside many other Nigerians on a chartered flight to Lagos, which is one of the most dangerous cities in the world. His friends are very worried about him, as he has a history of depression and mental illness. He was also not given any immunizations prior to his deportation.

John is currently living from hostel to hostel in Lagos. STAR are keeping in regular phone contact with him and he is feeling very hopeless and depressed. He is living under the constant threat of terrorist attacks, with no family, money or stability. We managed to raise money to pay for his immunisations and are currently fundraising to pay for his antidepressants.
We are also hoping to ensure that he can complete his degree by writing his dissertation in Lagos. The university are keen to help John and hopefully John will be able to finish his studies where he is. We are currently looking at ways to get round the practical issues with this, such as access to books or the internet for John and re-matriculating him as a Glasgow student while he is in Nigeria. Another problem is the cost and STAR are fundraising to help support him financially.

If you would like to get involved with the Oor John Campaign, come along to one of our meetings on Tuesday nights or get in touch with us for more information. You can also send an email to Damian Green (damian.green.mp@parliament.uk,) the Minister for Immigration, to ask him to review Johns case. John has a paypal account if you wish to donate to him. The email address is oorjohncampaign@gmail.com.



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