Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Patient wins fight to stay in UK

Nigerian transplant patient Roseline Akhalu, who came to study at Leeds University, can stay in the UK

A Nigerian transplant patient who claimed she would die within weeks if she was deported from the UK has said she is relieved that a judge has ruled she can stay.

Community volunteer Roseline Akhalu, 49, came to study at Leeds University in 2004 but was diagnosed with kidney failure soon after she arrived.

She had a successful transplant in 2009 but now needs regular hospital checks and will have to take immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of her life.

Her legal team argued she would die within weeks if she was returned to Nigeria as she would never be able to afford the drugs that keep her alive, and her lawyers have now confirmed Ms Akhalu found out her appeal against deportation has been successful.

She said: "I am very pleased and relieved by the judgment. I would like to say I am immensely grateful to all who have helped me in this struggle to get leave to remain."

Her solicitor, Tessa Gregory, said: "We are delighted by the ruling. Roseline is a respected and very popular member of her community and is an asset to this country.

"The Home Secretary's decision that Roseline should be deported to Nigeria where she would die within four weeks was unlawful and inhumane and has quite rightly been overturned."

A five-year-long campaign to keep Ms Akhalu in the UK, which is based in north Leeds, where she lives, has been backed by local politicians and church leaders.

Greg Mulholland, Lib Dem MP for Leeds North West, said: "It's fantastic news that a judge has today upheld Roseline's appeal."

Mr Mulholland urged the Home Office to accept the decision and not to pursue further legal action.

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