Nigerian Lesbian at risk of deportation from UK vows to submit sex video

Lesbian Aderonke Apata

Aderonke Apata, a lesbian at risk of being deported to Nigeria has said she will submit home videos of her having sex with her partners to the Home Office if that is what it would take to stay in the UK.

The woman who claims that her family was murdered because of her sexuality submitted letters from former girlfriends – both in Britain and Nigeria – and supporting statements from friends to help her case but her application for asylum was rejected.

Apata – who lives in Manchester with her girlfriend – has now been granted a judicial review, and says she feels there is only one form of irrefutable proof that will be enough for the Home Office to accept her orientation.

She told the Independent: “I was asked to bring my supporting documents for my judicial review for the court to look at. What evidence do we have to compile apart from letters from people?

“I knew we had a home video of ourselves, so I thought why not just put it in? I cannot afford to go back to my county where I will be tortured, so if I have to prove it with a sexual video, then I have to do it.

“I feel so bad it’s got to this stage. It’s such a desperate and precarious situation to be in, very dangerous, because anything could happen to those pictures, those videos.”

“I want sanctuary. I just want to be protected. I want to be who I am.”

Earlier this year, Home Secretary Theresa May ordered a review of how LGBT asylum claims are processed, after allegations of improper and degrading criteria.

Apata is expected to have handed over a petition on Monday (today), urging the Home Office to halt all deportations of LGBT people until the review is completed.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We do not remove anyone at risk of persecution because of their sexuality.

“We provide dedicated guidance and training to those dealing with such asylum claims, and all applications are carefully considered in line with our international obligations.”

When she came to Britain from Nigeria in 2004, her asylum claim was on religious grounds. She came from a Christian family, but had married a Muslim man in what she says was a sham arrangement to cover up her long-term relationship with another woman.

According to Apata, her husband’s family turned against her as they suspected she was gay. They took her to a sharia court, where she was sentenced to death for adultery. She says her brother and three-year-old son were killed in related vigilante incidents.

Apata said she ran away and went into hiding after two appeals for asylum were rejected, living on the streets in Manchester to make sure she would not be deported.

In 2012, after being caught working as a care manager with a false visa, she tried again to apply for asylum – saying she feared returning to Nigeria and being persecuted for her sexuality.

Her latest asylum claim was also rejected, despite the fact that Apata gave testimony that her ex-girlfriend in Nigeria was killed in a vigilante attack in 2012.

President Goodluck Jonathan in January 2014 signed into law a bill that makes being gay a crime punishable with imprisonment.

The law stipulates that persons who enter into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union commit an offence and are each liable on conviction to a term of 14 years in prison.

It also states that any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations or directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years in prison.