Olalekan M Ayelokun

A gay Nigerian man living in the UK is on the verge of being deported back to his homeland, despite fearing for his life there.

The judge hearing the asylum case of Olalekan M Ayelokun, a student nurse, has refused his plea to remain in the UK because he does not believe that Ayelokun is actually gay.

This despite a number of people, including three former sexual partners and friends in the gay community, coming forward testifying to his homosexuality.

Ayelokun is reported to have fled to the UK eight years ago to escape anti-gay persecution.

The UK authorities are reportedly planning to put Ayelokun on a plane to Nigeria as soon as possible.

Consensual same-sex conduct between adults is a criminal offence carrying up to 14 years imprisonment in Nigeria. In some parts of the country the death penalty may be applied under Sharia law.

Last year, Nigeria’s senate passed the Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) Bill which stipulates three years’ imprisonment for a person who enters into a same-sex marriage, and five years jail, plus fines, for anyone who “witnesses, abets and aids” a same-sex marriage.

An online petition has been launched calling on British Home Secretary Theresa May to urgently stop Ayelokun’s deportation.

Activists have accused the UK government of reneging on Prime Minister David Cameron’s 2010 promise that “those Africans seeking asylum on the basis of sexual orientation and at real risk of persecution in their home countries should be allowed to stay in the UK”.

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