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Akinyemi v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 236

DATE: 04 Apr 2017

The Court of Appeal gave judgment today in an appeal brought by Remi Akinyemi against a judgment of the Upper Tribunal, which had dismissed his appeal against his proposed deportation to Nigeria. The basic facts of the case were striking. He was born in the UK and has never been outside the country. He has never been to Nigeria and, as recorded in paragraph 1 of the Court of Appeal judgment, has no substantial links with that country.

It was a criminal deportation case. He had a number of convictions, including causing death by dangerous driving for which he received a four year sentence.

He had never had leave to enter or remain. The UT proceeded on the basis that his presence in the UK had been "unlawful" throughout, and accordingly thought that little weight was to be attached to his private life because of s117B of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. The Court of Appeal disagreed. He had never required either leave to enter or remain, and his presence throughout his life had not been unlawful. The Court applied the analysis in Chief Adjudication Officer v Wolke H.L. [1997] 1 WLR 1640 which flowed from the nature of UK immigration control – ie control at the frontier. Mr Akinyemi had never sought to cross the frontier.

Moreover, he had been entitled to obtain British citizenship as of right on an application made either by his father or himself for a very substantial part of the period. The Court held that there had been a misdirection on a central issue in the case and remitted it for a de novo rehearing. 

Richard Drabble QC (leading Ranjiv Khubber) appeared for the Appellant.