Luqman Onikosi, an ex Sussex student, came to the UK from Nigeria in 2007 and continues to campaign for his right to remain in the country. His immigration tribunal is scheduled for November 15 and a decision will be made regarding his right to stay in the UK.
Friends and supporters will travel to London by bus on November 15. One of Onikosi’s friends, Enia Dellepiane, told The Badger: “We’re trying to get as many people as we can to the court date… The Big Lemon is helping out with a free bus and we have 51 seats to fill to go to the hearing.
“Those seats will be reserved for those who can’t afford to go to London. We are organising groups closer to the court date who will travel by train…
“We won’t be disrupting the proceedings but showing that we are there for him [Luqman]… The lengthy proceedings and limitations are not ok”.
Luqman’s health is thought to be at risk if he is deported to Nigeria. He has himself expressed that treatment in Nigeria is unlikely to be adequate compared with treatment that he receives in the UK. This could be life-threatening. Luqman lost two brothers in Nigeria to the same health condition which he says was a result of a lack of treatment and facilities.
Onikosi graduated with a degree in Economics and International Relations from Sussex University and has since worked at the Nigerian High Commission in London. Luqman also studied for a master’s degree at Sussex University. However, he has not been awarded his degree. In May 2015, The Home Office informed Sussex University that Luqman no longer had the right to study as his leave to remain had been rejected.
The University suspended Luqman and have not graded him despite his dissertation being submitted. The University could not tell The Badger the reason for this as it would be a breach of data protection rules.
Sussex University’s website reads: “Graduation is an extremely special occasion for all involved, from graduating students to their proud families”.
Enia Dellepiane added: “I can not understand the reason for stopping him having his master’s… It makes you worried that the university may not stick up for you… I do understand the university has to follow rules but which rules made them take that decision [to not give Luqman his masters degree]?”
The campaign has garnered less attention than previously at Sussex. In the past, Luqman’s supporters have occupied Bramber House and held various actions to prevent his deportation. Campaigners still meet regularly and are set to meet on a weekly basis surrounding Luqman’s court date.
Enia Dellepiane told us: “Sussex has a reputation of protecting people in many ways and activism. People sticking up for each other and yet this happens”. Speaking of the court date, Enia added that “The court date on the 15th is the last shot pretty much.”Luqman’s supporters have also organised several events in aid of ‘precarious migrants’ including ‘Up All Night to Keep Luqi’ at Komedia and a music event on November 2.