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‘Deportation would be a death sentence’ for Brighton man
5:30pm Wednesday 17th April 2013 in News
A former University of Sussex student who has the chronic liver condition hepatitis B is facing deportation to Nigeria, where the lack of medical treatment will almost certainly lead to his death.
To maintain his health, Luqman Onikosi must undergo a number of procedures, including a liver biopsy every six months.
But no treatment for the condition, or monitoring, is available in Nigeria.
Luqman has explored all available possibilities for treatment in Nigeria, but to no avail.
In October 2011 Luqman’s brother Kolade died of the condition and five months later his other brother suffered the same fate – again due to chronic hepatitis B.
Both brothers were residents of Nigeria and a petition targeted at Theresa May demanding a third brother doesn’t follow the same path has secured more than 1,500 signatures and has attracted the services of a solicitor to work on a voluntary basis.
Luqman said: “I believe it is barbaric to send a third member of my family – me – to my death.
“I find it very dehumanising and humiliating that I have to justify and defend my existence as an equal human being.
“I have to fight for my right to life, by discussing the death of my two brothers from the same chronic liver condition, just to highlight how serious the situation is.”
Luqman arrived in the UK in 2007 on a study visa and in 2009, while studying international relations and economics at the University of Sussex, he was diagnosed with the condition.
Despite his failing health, he made a valuable contribution within the university and the Brighton and Hove community.
This included co-founding the Hear Afrika Society and leading several high-profile campaigns on issues such as racism, the environmental crisis and the economic rights of international students.
In the wider community, he was part of the Brighton and Hove Climate Connection and Brighton and Hove Black History groups.
After graduating, Luqman worked with the Nigerian High Commission in London before his ill health forced him to resign.
He is now setting up his own registered company as an education consultant and overseas student recruitment agent.
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