A disabled man who has lived in the UK for 38 years has been threatened with removal from the UK by the Home Office.

Anthony Olubunmi George, 61, came to the UK at the age of 24 in 1986 from Nigeria. He has not left the UK since and has no criminal convictions. In 2019, he had two strokes, which left him with problems with speech and mobility.

The Guardian also reported on the case of Nelson Shardey, 74, a newsagent from Merseyside who has lived in the UK since 1977 and was refused indefinite leave to remain by the Home Office despite being in the country for most of his adult life.

When George arrived, Margaret Thatcher was prime minister and Rishi Sunak is the ninth to hold office since George has lived in the UK. He has endured many periods of homelessness and says he has lost count of the number of friends who have given him shelter over the years. He says he no longer has any close family in Nigeria.

George has made various applications for leave to remain in the UK, which the Home Office has rejected, most recently on 7 May.

In 2005, his previous solicitors submitted a forged entry stamp in his passport and have subsequently been reported to the police and the legal regulatory bodies.

George told the Guardian he knew nothing about the passport stamp until many years later. His current lawyer, Naga Kandiah of MTC Solicitors, cited his poor previous legal representation as the reason for George’s problems. In his most recent refusal, Home Office officials said: “Unfortunately this is not something that is considered an exceptional circumstance.”

Kandiah has lodged an appeal against the latest refusal.

A previous Home Office rejection of his case states: “It’s open to your family and friends to visit you in Nigeria.”

George said: “I don’t know how many different sofas I’ve slept on – too many to count. I don’t have my life, living the way I’m living now. My health problems since I had my stroke are my biggest worry. All I’m asking for is some kindness from the Home Office.”

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Kandiah said: “My client has been living in limbo for 38 years, with no family, has suffered two strokes and has no family left in Nigeria. His situation is not just because of Home Office policies but also because of poor representation by previous solicitors who failed to uphold professional integrity and ethical standards.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Applications have to be considered on their individual merits in accordance with the immigration rules with the responsibility on applicants to demonstrate they meet these rules.”

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Guardian

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