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Nigerian Asylum Seeker in UK Threatened With “Jungle Justice”

Jim Burroway

April 14th, 2011

Published threat against Uche Nnabuife (Scan courtesy of Paul Canning. Click to enlarge.)

Paul Canning reports that a Nigerian newspaper has published a death threat against Uche Nnabuife, a gay Nigerian who is seeking asylum in the United Kingdom. British immigration authorities say they will deport Nnabuife on April 20.

National Times,a nationally circulated newspaper in Nigeria, printed an article warning Nnabuife that if he returned to Nigeria, he would be subjected to “jungle justice” and “his body would not be found”:

According to a reliable source, one Uche Nnabuife, a gay Nigerian has been warned not to come back to Nigeria or his body would not be found.

Nnabuife who is currently in Europe has been warned by a friend, Nnamdi Okafor who had revealed to him about a movement against the return of gay Nigerians headed by one Toyin Adelaja. The movement it is gathered believes that “Africans are not gay people but these Nigerian gays are only trying to imitate the white man’s culture and should stay there in their land”. The movement expressed disgust that “homosexuality is unafrican and any Nigerian found practising it or confirmed to have practised it within or outside Nigeria should expect jungle justice from the movement.”

Canning reports that  Nnabuife has also been threatened on the internet as well.  Rev Rowland Jide Macauley, a gay Nigerian priest who currently resides in London, told Canning, “‘Jungle Justice’ in Nigeria is a serious problem, people take the laws into their own hands and for the headline to read such, we truly have to give this all the possible worst interpretation.”

Nnabuife has been detained by British immigration authorities since November 2009. British authorities have maintained that Nnabuife’s claim of being gay are not credible, despite testimony from his ex-boyfriend and other close friends. Generally the Home Office has routinely rejected asylum claims which cite fears of persecution for sexual orientation. Canning believes that Nnabuife’s prior conviction of cannabis possession is playing a role in his pending deportation.



paul canning
April 14th, 2011 | LINK

Thanks Jim – you have beaten the UK gay media (bar UK Gay News) to this. Uche is one of a number of gay Nigerians being refused asylum, and the current government made a pledge to ‘stop removing LGBT asylum seekers to danger’ … My post links to action people can take if they want to support Uche.

Timothy Kincaid
April 14th, 2011 | LINK

Oddly enough, while the US generally lags behind Western Europe on many gay issues, this is one area where it does do a (slightly) better job. We seldom see a situation where a threat is tangible and specific in which the US goes ahead and deports a gay immigrant.

paul canning
April 14th, 2011 | LINK

Tim, I’m not an expert (not being American) on US treatment of asylum but I think it depends a lot on which court you come before, the legal assistance you find and other issues, even when the threat is ‘tangible’. The system has been described as a “roulette” and “broken”. ICE isn’t known for being too gay-friendly and I have heard court decisions which are the same as ones in Yurp – ‘go home and be discrete’, ‘go home and relocate’, ‘but you don’t look gay’ etc.

Also Yurp has very different results for LGBT asylum – Netherlands vs UK vs France vs Slovakia for example – and asylum in general. I wouldn’t hold anywhere up as a model!

Timothy Kincaid
April 14th, 2011 | LINK


You are correct that there are no models.

Julius Goodman
April 17th, 2011 | LINK

Yes, it is understable when people behave like white people they should live in the white man’s land. Let Africa be for people who want to live like Africans. Uche stay in the UK 4ever.

Timothy Kincaid
April 18th, 2011 | LINK

homophobic AND racist…

Julius, your name is a misnomer.

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