6 Apr 2017

UGO .K. Igwe

UK Authorities Barred Andy Uba From Their Country

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The decision to bar Mr. Uba, a former senior domestic aide to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, was taken by the Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD).

SaharaReporters has exclusively obtained legal documents showing that British authorities in 2008 revoked Senator Emmanuel Nnamdi (Andy) Uba's multiple entry visa into any of the territories of the United Kingdom.

The decision to bar Mr. Uba, a former senior domestic aide to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, was taken by the Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD).

Judicial filings obtained by SaharaReporters reveal that the British High Commission in Abuja had on November 11, 2004 issued a five-year multiple entry visitor's visa to Senator Uba, who represents Anambra South in the National Assembly.

However, in a letter dated December 2, 2008, the SSHD informed Mr. Uba of the revocation of his visa.

"The purpose of this letter is to inform you that on 26 November 2008, after the most careful consideration, the Home Secretary personally directed that you should be excluded from the United Kingdom," the revocation letter stated. It added, "On the basis of your character, conduct and association with fraud and other criminal activities, your presence in the UK would not be conducive to the public good and the Home Secretary has decided that you should be excluded from all territories of the United Kingdom."

The letter also informed Senator Uba that the decision to prohibit his entry into any part of the U.K. would be reviewed after three years.

Court documents in our possession further show that an application by Mr. Uba to persuade British authorities to lift their prohibition against him was denied in 2011. A court filing by British lawyers representing Mr. Uba noted that the Nigerian senator's "application for permission to seek judicial review was refused at an oral hearing on 1st July 2011 by Mr. Ockelton, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge."

Mr. Uba's lawyers appealed the decision, claiming that, in rejecting the senator's application, the court had failed to take "into account the representations and evidence presented by the Claimant during the course of his application."
In a letter dated December 19, 2011, Mr. Uba's lawyers again "requested a review of the decision to exclude him from the United Kingdom."

They urged the Home Department to note that Mr. Uba "has been a law abiding citizen of Nigeria who has been contributing his best to the development of his country."

They pointed out that the former presidential aide "was elected a Senator of Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber in 2011." They also argued that Mr. Uba "would not have qualified for election to the Nigerian Senate" if he had been implicated in criminal activities.

The lawyers drew attention to sections of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 "which clearly sets out at clauses 65-66 the stringent criteria that would enable an individual to qualify for election as senator in Nigeria."

Mr. Uba's lawyers stated that the senator felt that his woes were linked to "unsubstantiated allegations made on the internet against him," adding, "there has been no proven conviction to date against him in any country in the world, including Nigeria." The senator's legal team asserted that "the internet, being a tool open to all individuals to post documents on, can be used as a weapon of destruction and assassination of character."

Despite the pleas by Senator Uba's attorneys, the SSHD reaffirmed that the controversial politician would remain a persona non grata from the U.K. That decision was contained in a letter dated July 19, 2012.

“In response to your letter I can only reiterate previous advice which states that the Home Secretary personally excluded Mr. Uba from the UK because she did not consider his presence in the UK to be conducive to the public good on the basis of his character, conduct and association with fraud and other criminal activities," the letter stated.

Court documents (see full text below) indicated that Senator Uba's lawyers mounted a further legal challenge to the decision barring their client from the U.K., but to no avail.

SaharaReporters could not independently confirm if the U.K. Authorities have changed their mind since 2012, however, sources knowledgeable about the case said the senator's presentation of forged documents to the U.K. authorities likely compounded his woes.

Read the full court documents below:

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE​
QUEEN’S BENCH DIVISION
ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
IN THE MATTER OF AN APPLICATION FOR PERMISSION TO APPLY FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW

BETWEEN:

THE QUEEN

On the application of
Mr. EMMANUEL NNAMDI UBA
Claimant
-and-

THE SECRETARY OF STATE
FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT
Defendant
GROUNDS FOR SEEKING JUDICIAL RELIEF

COURT/TRIBUNAL, PERSON OR BODY WHO MADE THE DECISION TO BE REVIEWED

1. A review decision of the Defendant, confirming a previous decision that the Claimant is to be excluded from the United Kingdom. The review decision was dated 19th July 2012.

DETAILED STATEMENT OF GROUNDS

1. Judicial relief is sought upon the following grounds:

i) The Defendant has failed to reasonably and lawfully consider the review application of the Claimant by failing to/ failing to appropriately establish that she took into account the representations and evidence presented by the Claimant during the course of his application.

Facts

2. The Claimant was born on 14th December 1958 and is presently aged 53.

3. He is presently Senator for the Anambra South constituency of Anambra State.

4. The Claimant previously served as Governor of Anambra State, being elected in April 2007. He was removed from office by order of the Nigerian Supreme Court as the election results were nullified upon the previous Governor establishing that his term of office continued.

Immigration history

5. On 11th November 2004, the Claimant was issued with a 5-year multiple-entry visitor’s visa by the British High Commission, Abuja.

Exclusion Decision

6. By way of a letter dated 2nd December 2008, the Defendant detailed, inter alia;

“The purpose of this letter is to inform you that on 26 November 2008, after the most careful consideration, the Home Secretary personally directed that you should be excluded from the United Kingdom.

On the basis of your character, conduct and association with fraud and other criminal activities, your presence in the UK would not be conducive to the public good and the Home Secretary has decided that you should be excluded from all territories of the United Kingdom.

… The decision is reviewed after 3 years …”


7. On 2nd December 2008, the British High Commission confirmed to the Claimant that it had decided to revoke the multiple-entry visitor’s visa on the grounds that the Defendant had personally directed that the Claimant’s exclusion from the United Kingdom was conducive to the public good.

8. The Claimant was refused entry as a result of the exclusion decision on 24th December 2008.

9. The UK Border Agency detailed by way of a letter dated 20th March 2009:


“… I can confirm that on 26 November 2008, the Home Secretary personally directed that Mr. Uba be excluded from the United Kingdom because she considered, after taking into account all of the information available to her, that Mr. Uba’s presence in the UK was not conducive to the public good on the basis of his character, conduct and association with fraud and other criminal activities.”


10. The Claimant sought to challenge the decision by way of judicial review, outside of the 3 months period identified by the Civil Procedure Rules (CO/6949/2010).

11. The application for permission to seek judicial review was refused at an oral hearing on 1st July 2011 by Mr. Ockelton, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge.

Request for a Review

12. The Claimant requested a review of the decision to exclude him from the United Kingdom by way of a letter dated 19th December 2011, detailing:

“… our client is asking that the SSHD, in reviewing this extant exclusion decision, should note that he has been a law abiding citizen of Nigeria who has been contributing his best to the development of his country. He was elected a Senator of Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber in 2011 … He would not have qualified for election to the Nigerian Senate if this was the case. We refer you to the attached extract from the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 which clearly sets out at clauses 65-66 the stringent criteria that would enable an individual to qualify for election as senator in Nigeria.

Furthermore, we urge the SSHD to take cognizance of our client’s strong assertion that, despite the unsubstantiated allegations made on the internet against him, there has been no proven conviction to date against him in any country in the world, including Nigeria. In addition, the SSDH should also please note that the internet, being a tool open to all individuals to post documents on, can be used as a weapon of destruction and assassination of character.

In any event, our client has asked us to inform the SSHD that should the exclusion order be lifted, he (our client) would make sure that he does not do anything that would breach the law or do anything that is inimical to the interests of the UK or any other country.”


13. The Defendant conducted a review and the decision to make an exclusion decision was maintained. A letter of 19th July 2012 detailed, inter alia;

“In response to your letter I can only reiterate previous advice which states that the Home Secretary personally excluded Mr. Uba from the UK because she did not consider his presence in the UK to be conducive to the public good on the basis of his character, conduct and association with fraud and other criminal activities.”

GROUND 1 – The Defendant has failed to reasonably and lawfully consider the review application of the Claimant by failing to/ failing to appropriately establish that she took into account the representations and evidence presented by the Claimant during the course of his application.

14. The Defendant directed that the Claimant should be excluded from the United Kingdom.

15. It was decided that the Claimant’s presence in the United Kingdom was not conducive to the public good.

16. The reasons given were short and detailed that the decision was based upon the Claimant’s character, conduct and association with fraud and other criminal activities.

UGO .K. Igwe

About UGO .K. Igwe -

I've even gone so far as to verbalize it specifically, time is too precious to waste on trivial arguments and negativities. I'd rather get on to the more fun and rewarding stuff right away!

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