Irish Republican News · August 10, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
McDowell sending Nigerian woman to her death

Irish Justice minister Michael McDowell will be sending a Nigerian woman to her death if he does not overturn a deportation order against her, it has emerged.

Nimota Kate Banidele, who lives west Dublin, could be stoned to death under strict Islamic laws because she had three children outside marriage with a Christian man.

The Residents Against Racism group held a demonstration outside Mr McDowell’s Progressive Democrat party office this afternoon and presented a petition with over 2,000 signatures calling for the 38-year-old to be allowed stay in Ireland.

Sinn Féin’s justice spokesman Aengus O Snodaigh said: “This is not fair, it’s not reasonable.

“The minister would be effectively sending her home to die if he doesn’t rescind this deportation order immediately.”

Ms Banidele was sentenced to death by a Sharia law court in northern Nigeria in August 2002 but she escaped from prison and fled to Ireland seeking asylum.

However, her asylum application was turned down and she now faces deportation back to Nigeria with others within days.

She is considering a judicial review against her deportation after she was asked to report to the Garda National Immigration Bureau before Thursday.

Residents Against Racism spokesman Rosanna Flynn said: “Minister McDowell has the power to allow her to stay in Ireland and thus save her life.”

Ms Banidele told a newspaper in February: “If I have to go back there they will kill me. They will find me.”

Peace campaigner Caoimhe Butterly said it was “crystal clear” that Ms Banidele would face genuine persecution and death when she returned to Nigeria.

She added: “The only moral option for the Irish government is to allow her to stay in Ireland. It would be an unspeakable act to deport her.”

Placards carried by about 20 protesters outside the PD offices on South Frederick Street today read: “Don`t play games with Kate’s Life” and “Will You Cast The First Stone Minister”.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News