Saturday, January 12, 2013

Roseline Akhalu Of Leeds Pleads for mercy to remain after Cancer treatment

Roseline Akhalu

A Nigerian university graduate, who visited the UK in 2004 on a Ford Foundation scholarship to do a masters degree in development studies at Leeds University.Soon after arriving she was diagnosed with renal failure and began treatment the following year. all thanks to the great facilities in foreign countries, In 2009 she had a successful kidney transplant but needs regular hospital check-ups and immuno suppressant drugs for the rest of her life.The Home Office tried to remove her last month but her solicitor, Hani Zubeidi, launched judicial review proceedings, which are ongoing. The removal was halted pending the outcome of the legal action. She is currently detained in Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire.Reliance, the UK Border
Doctors have warned that she could die within a month if the Home Office goes ahead with plans to remove her from the UK, where her life expectancy is good.Roseline Akhalu, 48, Agency subcontractor, has launched an investigation into the way Akhalu was treated en route to Yarl's Wood. She claims that she was refused permission to use the toilet despite her medical condition and despite the presence of a medic alongside the escorts in the van. Zubeidi has requested CCTV from the van but has not yet received it.

"If the Home Office send me back to Nigeria there is definitely no way I can survive," said Akhalu. "I'm a widow, with no children. I have very few family members and even if treatment was available in Nigeria I would have no means to pay for it.

"One part of your country – the NHS – gave me my life back. But now another part – the Home Office – wants to take my life away. I'm feeling very low and know that I'm approaching my death bed if they send me back."


Akhalu is a prominent member of St Augustine's Catholic church in Harehills, Leeds. She has the backing of both the Catholic and Anglican bishops of Leeds, as well as the city's lord mayor, the Rev Alan Taylor, and her MP, Greg Mulholland.



Mulholland and the bishop of Leeds, the Right Rev John R Packer, have written to the immigration minister Damian Green urging him to intervene in Akhlau's case.

Her doctors have tried to make contact with renal specialists in Nigeria to ask what treatment would be available for Akhalu but according to Zubeidi they have received no response.

"Roseline's consultants at St James's hospital in Leeds have warned that if she is sent back to Nigeria where she cannot get appropriate treatment she could lose her renal transplant within one month, leading to premature death," said Zubeidi. "They say that if her transplant fails she will die."


Akhalu said the way she was treated by Reliance escorts after her arrest was "humiliating and degrading".

"Because of my medical condition I am not supposed to delay urinating. The Reliance escorts who were taking me to Yarl's Wood stopped in Manchester. I begged them to take me to the toilet when we stopped but they refused. Instead I was given a small plastic bag and told to urinate in that in the van instead."

A UKBA spokesperson said: "We do not routinely comment on individual cases. The UK Border Agency expects the highest standards of integrity and professionalism from contractors and will take action if these expectations are not met. As the escort agency is investigating this matter we cannot comment further."

In 2008, Ghanaian Ana Sumani, who had cancer, died after being forcibly removed to her home country by the Home Office. The medical journal the Lancet said of the case: "The UK has committed atrocious barbarism."

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