The United Kingdom said it had a proud history of providing protection for those who needed it, in accordance with its international obligations under its Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights.
It was reacting to comments by Nigeria’s Minister of Information Lai Mohammed that it was disrespectful to the country for the UK to consider granting asylum to persecuted members of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).
According to PUNCH, the British High Commission in Nigeria said the UK constantly reviewed its immigration policy, noting that all asylum and rights from Nigeria were carefully considered before approval.
“Our country policy and information notes are published on the gov.uk website. They are kept under constant review and updated periodically – an update to the Biafra separatist note is expected shortly,” PUNCH had quoted the High Commission to have said.
“We publish them since our decisions can be appealed in the immigration courts, which are public, so it is clearer and fairer for all involved (applicants, their lawyers, judges, stakeholders such as the UNHCR) to know what our position and evidence base is.
“All asylum and human rights claims from Nigerian nationals are carefully considered on their individual merits in accordance with our international obligations.”
Meanwhile, IPOB has said it wants a referendum on self-determination for the South-East of Nigeria, not asylum.