Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Nigerian asylum seeker wins £300 a week payout


COVENTRY City Council has agreed to pay a family of eight who are failed asylum seekers nearly £300 a week.

The agreement came after a High Court hearing was told they were being given just £60 a week and were living in poverty.

The court was told Adeolo Banwo and his family were so poor they could not afford heating bills, winter coats or proper food for the children, who had to go to school with no more than bread and butter in their lunch boxes.

Coventry City Council finally agreed to pay the family £285 a week when faced with a legal challenge by the family's lawyers who claimed their human rights were being violated.

Mr Banwo, a failed asylum seeker from Nigeria, lives with his wife, three daughters, aged 20, 18 and 10, his two sons, aged 13 and four, and his grandson, aged two, in Villiers Street, Stoke.

Ian Wise, representing the family, told Mr Justice Wilkie the council began paying the family £30 a week for their subsistence in January.

That was increased to £60 in August, but that was still "clearly insufficient" for a family of eight.

Mr Banwo, his wife and eldest daughter, have to "sign on" twice a week in Salford, Greater Manchester, and, after travel costs, the family was left with just £48 a week on which to survive.

They were, said Mr Wise, unable to pay utility bills or buy proper food or winter clothes for the children who "took bread and butter to school".

Describing the family's position as "dire", Mr Wise accused the city council of failing in its duty, both under domestic law and under the Human Rights Act, to properly assess and provide for the family's basic needs.

He said the council's handling of the family's case had been "peppered with faults".

However, after last-minute negotiations at the doors of the court, Mr Wise told the judge the council had now agreed to pay the family £285.95 a week.

Mr Justice Wilkie remarked: "£60 a week doesn't seem to be very much on which to feed these children. On any view, these are obvious needs".

Lorna Findlay, for the city council, told the judge the council became aware of the family in December last year and had since been paying their £400-a-month rent.

She said the council had been in the process of arranging a full assessment of the family's needs when their lawyers launched the judicial review challenge.

I thought failed asylum seekers were supposed to be deported?


At 8:15 PM, Anonymous jim holloway said...

Yes, they most likely will be deported as soon as the Home Office gets its act together ;)

However, as they are not allowed to work, obviously they need to be kept alive - unless you think starving people's kids is OK? Even keeping them in detention would be far more expensive!


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