Asylum-seeker cleared of rioting faces deportation

IT IS a strange predicament for an innocent man. Having successfully cleared his name in a spectacular court victory last week, Stanley Nwadike sits in a Victorian prison cell waiting to be flown out of the country next week in handcuffs.

A former political dissident in Ogoniland, Nigeria, he is not expecting a friendly welcome in the West African state because of his opposition to Shell's oil explorations in his homeland.

His arrival will hardly go unnoticed. Apart from the highly visible presence of an accompanying British immig- ration official he has attracted notoriety from his involvement in what has become a cause celebre. Mr Nwadike and eight other West African asylum seekers became known as the Campsfield Nine.

They were controversially charged with riot and violent disorder after unrest at Britain's biggest immigration camp last year.

Group 4, which runs Campsfield, claimed its staff had been attacked. But the case collapsed after Group 4 officers repeatedly contradicted them- selves in their evidence.

While three of the defendants walked free, having been given refugee status or leave to remain, five others were taken to Rochester prison, Kent, pending their deportation. The other is in a psychiatric hospital.

On Thursday, the day after his 23rd birthday, Mr Nwadike is due to become the first of the nine to be deported.

Yesterday, solicitors representing the detained men wrote to The Independent calling on the immigration minister, Mike O'Brien, to allow them to stay in Britain.

"All our clients remain in prison even though they have been acquitted. The court proceedings have resulted in them being named in the press and placed at additional risk of persecution if returned to their own countries," they wrote.

But the Home Office said last night it had no plans to make a special case for the men. "Now the trial has collapsed arrangements for their removal have resumed," said a spokeswoman.

Also due to be removed from Britain in the next few days is, John Quaquah, a Ghanaian political dissident. Claims by both Mr Quaquah and Mr Nwadike that they are at risk of persecution if they are returned to their homelands have not been accepted by British officials.

Enahoro Esemuze, 25, was this week taken on to the hospital wing at Rochester and placed under suicide watch amid growing concern over his mental condition.

Friends said that he was normally an "intelligent and articulate" man but had become depressed and confused after 13 months in custody. His solicitor, Louise Christian, said she was considering a case of malicious prosecution.

She said Mr Esemuze's political background was similar to that of other members of the Campsfield Nine who have been given permission to remain in Britain. Sunny Ozidede and Edward Onabanjo Agora have been granted refugee status, and Lucky Agbebaku was given temporary admission.

One 17-year-old member of the Campsfield group is currently undergoing treatment for psychiatric illness at a secure hospital in London.

The Nigerian-born teenager was taken to hospital from the Feltham Young Offenders Institution, west London, where he took an overdose of anti- depressants and was on a life- support machine.

Also in Rochester is Harrison Tubman, an asylum-seeker from Liberia, who has been threatened with deportation to Nigeria because he entered Britain using the passport of a Nigerian woman.

The final member of the Campsfield group facing deportation, Sambou Marong, is still appealing against the decision to refuse him asylum. Yesterday he was given bail pending a final appeal hearing.

Meanwhile at Campsfield House, 22 detainees were yesterday in the fourth day of a hunger strike in protest that Mr O'Brien has not responded to requests to visit them to hear the concerns of asylum seekers at the centre.

They were angry that Mr O'Brien visited Campsfield five days before the riot trial in order to present Group 4 with an Investors in People award.

Yesterday Group 4 said that although the 22 asylum seekers were refusing meals, it believed that they were eating snack food bought from the Campsfield shop.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk