Courage is a post-graduate student at Newcastle University and, at the time of his detention, was studying for an M.A. in Political Research and had just submitted a proposal for a Ph.D. He obtained a degree in biochemistry at Newcastle University in 2009.
Courage is originally from Benin City, Nigeria. He was a student at the University of Benin when he was forced to flee and sought asylum in the U.K. in April 2002, aged 25. As a student leader, he was active in human rights and campaigned for the eradication of secret and violent cultism in Nigerian universities, so that students could study freely, without the constant threat of disruption and violence. He was targeted by a secret student cult sponsored by the university in conjunction with the Nigerian state and was forced to flee after receiving death threats. He sought asylum immediately on arrival in the U.K.
The Home Office dismissed Courage’s story as not credible and all appeals have been refused.
The UKBA’s own latest Country of Origin Information on Nigeria (15 January 2010 reports on the continuing existence of Secret Student Cults (section 10.03 – 10.10) and quotes a Human Rights’ Watch report describing them as ‘violent gangs that operate on and off campus – one foot each in the criminal and political spheres’ and ‘the most widely feared criminal enterprises in the country’.
Courage believes he is still wanted and is still at risk in Nigeria and has a realistic fear of what might happen on his return – persecution, torture and even death. He cannot rely on being protected: ‘extra-judicial executions remain a chronic problem’ (Human Rights’ Watch).
This is confirmed by a report Criminal Force: Torture, Abuse, and Extrajudicial Killings by the Nigeria Police Force: Police in Nigeria commit extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, and extortion with relative impunity. Nigeria Police Force personnel routinely carry out summary executions of persons accused or suspected of crime; rely on torture as a principal means of investigation; commit rape of both sexes, with a particular focus on sex workers; and engage in extortion at nearly every opportunity.
Open Society Justice Initiative / Network on Police Reform in Nigeria May 2010
Nigeria’s child ‘witches’ pay heavy price
More children accused of witchcraft as Aids and poverty take their toll. Children are accused of witchcraft amid rise of bogus pastors
The Times, May 14, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/32fbgcl
Please help to keep Courage safe in the U.K
What you can do to help:
Email/Fax, Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP Secretary of State for the Home Office asking that Courage Ogbeiwi Idiagbonya, be granted protection in the UK. Please use the attached model letter, CourageTMay.doc.doc which you can copy/amend/write your own version (if you do so, please remember to include Courage Ogbeiwi Idiagbonya’s HO ref J1066054)
Fax: 020 8760 3132(00 44 20 8760 3132 if you are faxing from outside UK)
Please inform the campaign of any emails/faxes sent:
Lynda Mackenzie on behalf of Courage Ogbeiwi Idiagbonya
Source for this Message:
Courage Ogbeiwi Idiagbonya Campaign