Death deportation averted

A 38-year-old Nigerian woman, who faced death by stoning if returned to her home country, was yesterday granted a court order restraining any immediate move to deport her from Ireland.

Mr Proinsias O Maolchalain, counsel for Ms Nomota Bamidele, told Mr Justice de Valera she faced imminent deportation in that she had been directed to report to the Garda police on the matter.

He told Mr Justice de Valera that examination of her file, which had been withheld from him, could throw up new grounds on which she could oppose her deportation. She had also not been told to which country she would be deported.

“My client faces a death sentence under Sharia laws in the part of Nigeria in which she lived,” Mr O Maolchalain said.

Ms Bamidele’s supporters have made a petition to the Minister for Justice to prevent her being stoned to death under Sharia laws because she had three children outside marriage with a Christian man.

The campaign organisers said she was sentenced to death in her home country in August 2002, but had escaped from prison and had fled to Ireland seeking asylum.

Her application had been turned down by the Minister and, she and other Nigerians faced deportation yesterday.

Sinn Féin’s Aengus O Snodaigh welcomed the granting of a temporary injunction against the deportation. He went on to call on the Minister for Justice to rescind the deportation order and allow the woman and her children to remain in Ireland.

Deputy O Snodaigh said, “While I welcome the granting of a temporary injunction against Ms Bamidele’s deportation what we really need is for the Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, to rescind the order. It is an absolute disgrace that we as a nation should even contemplate returning this woman to Nigeria, where she faces the prospect of being stoned to death.

“I would also urge the Minister to reconsider and reverse his decision to push ahead his policy of mass deportations of asylum seekers which is neither compassionate, humanitarian or human rights based.”

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© 2004 Irish Republican News