The United Kingdom (UK) has said that it will grant asylum to anybody in need of it as claims are considered on their individual merits in line with international standards.
The British Government said it had a rich history of providing protection to those in need of it. The UK Visas and Immigration had released fresh guidelines to its decision makers on how to consider and grant asylum applications to IPOB members whose founder, Nnamdi Kanu, is now based in London.
Kanu, who holds both Nigerian and British passports, escaped from Nigeria in 2018 after troops invaded his country home while he was facing trial on treasonable felony charges for criminal conspiracy, intimidation and membership of a proscribed organisation.
In the guidelines titled, ‘Country Policy and Information Note Nigeria: Biafran secessionist groups,’ released in March, the UKVI, a division of the Home Office, directed its decision makers to consider if a person “who actively and openly supports IPOB is likely to be at risk of arrest and detention, and ill-treatment which is likely to amount to persecution.’’
“Those fleeing prosecution or punishment for a criminal offence are not normally refugees. Prosecution may, however, amount to persecution if it involves victimisation in its application by the authorities,’’ the 56-page document said.
The Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed however criticized the UK’s position as being supportive of domestic terrorism.