Republican News · Thursday 25 May 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Ekundayo wins case

asylum seeker who faced charges of assaulting Gardai, alleged to have occurred when he was being taken to Dublin Airport for deportation to Belgium, has won his case in the Dublin Circuit Court.

Judge O'Donnell found that the deportation order was invalid, and that the guards, in taking Ekundayo Ominiyi into custody for deportation, were acting illegally.

The deportation order had been issued under the 1935 Act, which Judge Geoghegan found to be unconstitutional. The gardaí ``had no authority to be frog-marching him towards the plane,'' said the judge.

Ekundayo, a student, campaigned with the Ogoni people fighting Shell Oil exploration in Nigeria, in the struggle for a democratic Nigeria. He was a strong supporter of Ken Saro Wiwa, who was executed by the government to the horror of campaigners around the world. Ekundayo was arrested in Nigeria, imprisoned for three months before he managed to escape and flee to Ireland.

His appeal against deportation has still not been heard. He has married over here and the couple have a daughter. Speaking after winning his case, he thanked all those many people who had joined the campaign for justice, and gave especial thanks to Rosanna Flynn from Residents Against Racism and the Anti Racism Campaign, who had all stood by him throughout his long wait for justice.

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