Poorly Leeds woman in deportation victory

Rose Akhalu.
Rose Akhalu.
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A SEVERELY ill Leeds woman who feared being ‘deported to die’ has won her SECOND victory against the Government, after two senior judges ruled she should be allowed to remain in the UK.

Community volunteer Roseline Akhalu, 49, is today celebrating with her supporters after the High Court delivered its judgement on last week’s appeal hearing.

Mrs Akhalu, who lives in Headingley, but is originally from Nigeria, has been fighting a long deportation battle with the Home Office and has been detained twice by border officials.

Today, the High Court has upheld a Lower Tier Tribunal’s previous decision that she should be allowed to stay in the UK.

The Home Office could still appeal further to the Supreme Court.

Esme Madill, who has co-ordinated the Save Rose campaign, said: “We are absolutely delighted. It’s a really strong judgement in Rose’s favour.

“Rose is delighted, but anxious too, because she has been here before.

“But her lawyers have said ‘celebrate’. If they appeal again, they appeal again.

“But they would be foolish to appeal.”

She said “big money” had been spent by the Government on pursuing the case and Mrs Akhalu’s healthcare costs would be small in comparison.

Widow Mrs Akhalu, who has no other family in Nigeria, arrived in the UK to study for a Masters degree at Leeds University in 2004.

She has applied for leave to remain in the UK but has been refused. Her consultant has said that unless she is able to continue taking immunosuppressant drugs - which are costly and unavailable in parts of Nigeria - her transplanted kidney will fail and she would have to resort to dialysis again –a treatment she could not afford. Without this she will die.

Mrs Akhalu has never been allowed to work in the UK, and has been supported since 2007 by parishioners from St Augustine’s RC Church, Harehills and the St Vincent de Paul Society.

Oscar winning actor Colin Firth is among the people who has backed her case, and last week he again pleaded with the Home Office to stop pursuing its case against her.

The Save Rose campaign’s Facebook page is already flooded with comments of support.

Susannah McDaid said: “The two judges upheld the previous judges finding that Rose may stay in the UK. Hopefully they will leave Rose alone now and not appeal to the Supreme Court.”