Asylum was denied to a Nigerian mother whose daughter is at risk of FGM

UK – Flora Olinyole has applied for asylum in the UK, but has been told that her application has been rejected. The Nigerian mother of three told yesterday the BBC NEWS UK that she cannot return to Nigeria because her daughter would be at risk of female genital mutilation. According to her words, her first daughter died after being subjected to the practice and she cannot allow such thing to happen again.

"If I go back to Nigeria, my life is not safe, my little girl's life is not safe. I know what I am talking about but the Home Office don't believe me.", she said in her interview with Dominic Casciani, the BBC News home affairs correspondent.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has invited her to attend a special "family conference" to discuss her case. During such conferences, the immigration officers have instructions to do all what they can to reduce the family’s fear of being deported, but to make sure that they accept the fact that they have to leave. Mrs. Olinyole reported, that she was given a fortnight to decide how she was going to fly back, and to begin putting her affairs in order.

If the families don't take any step to leave voluntary, the UKBA will move to a second phase called Required Return, and will set a departure date.

Mrs. Olinyole is still waiting for immigration officials to serve that date on her, and fears that her time is running out. "I'm afraid they may come in now and say, 'Flora, we have to take you away now'. Then I don't have a choice, I have to follow them", she said walking nervously up and down and shivering. She is well aware, that like many before her - and many who will follow - she will have to leave the country.

Written by Isabel Henriques

Source: BBC News UK