Wednesday 24 October 2018

Teen 'petrified' to leave Ireland 'is not at any immediate risk of deportation', says Justice Minister

Minister Charlie Flanagan said he is concerned about "a great deal of misinformation" surrounding the Offaly family who faces deportation to Nigeria

Nonso Muojeke from Tullamore following a meeting with Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan
Nonso Muojeke from Tullamore following a meeting with Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan

Kyle Ewald

A teenager who fears leaving Ireland to return to Nigeria “is not at any immediate risk of deportation”, according to the Justice Minister.

Minister Charlie Flanagan said he is concerned about “a great deal of misinformation” in relation to the case of Tullamore College student Nonso Moujeke who faces deportation after being denied asylum.

The minister’s comments come after a number of Nonso’s family and friends, classmates and local politicians gathered outside the Dáil today to protest his family’s deportation.

Protesters also delivered a petition signed by 20,000 people asking Minister Flanagan to halt the deportation order.

“I want to state clearly that the Nonso Muojeke is not at any immediate risk of deportation. The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service has given that undertaking to the court,” the Minister said in a statement this afternoon.

“The case is still before the courts. As I have consistently said, as Minister for Justice and Equality, I do not interfere with cases before the courts. However, when the court proceedings conclude, I will use my powers as Minister to consider this case fully, including from a humanitarian point of view.”

The 14-year-old Offaly student moved to Ireland when he was two years old with his mother and older brother, Victor, following the death of his father. As custom, Nonso’s mother became property of her brother in law. She then fled to Ireland with her two young sons and they have been living here for eleven years.

A number of Nonso’s and Victor’s classmates have voiced major concerns over the Moujeke family being forced to return to Nigeria.

“It’s absurd to me that just because they weren’t born here, they don’t belong here,” a friend of the Moujeke boys said in tribute video appealing for Minister Charlie Flanagan to stop the Offlay family from being deported.

“Who really benefits from this deportation?” said another schoolmate of the Moujekes. “The boys will be sent back to somewhere foreign where they know nothing about the culture and Ireland is going to lose two potentially, highly successful boys.”

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