A man of Nigerian origin who had an Irish ex-girlfriend has been given a provisional resident permit to prevent his deportation. The girlfriend claimed she was tricked to believe the man was an ex ‘male model’ who is now working for a UK property firm. However, she found out the man had a criminal record and lied to her.
On Friday January 20, 2012 at the High Court, Mr Justice Gerard Hogan made it clear the temporary permit was prompted “exclusively” by his worries for the ultimate well-being of a child – Baby C – fathered by the man with the Irish woman, and the possible right of a child to the care and company of both parents.
The stay was granted solely in the context of uncompleted District Court proceedings here in relation to the man’s access and custody rights in relation to Baby C. The man has another child with another woman but they live in London.
While it was difficult to view the application by the man for guardianship of, and access to, Baby C “without some degree of skepticism – perhaps even cynicism”, that matter was exclusively to be decided by the District Court, he said.
As the District Court may rule it was in the interests of Baby C her father enjoy either rights of access or even guardianship, he would stay enforcement of deportation pending the outcome of the District Court application.
If the man won in the District Court, the matter would be re-assessed with the State’s vital interest in an effective immigration system balanced against the child’s right to the care and company of her father. If the man lost, the stay on deportation would lapse.
The judge had earlier this month lifted a previous injunction preventing the man’s deportation on grounds of material non-disclosure by the man of several matters.
The man came here in March 2009 with a Nigerian passport in the name of another man, Mr X, which had a valid Irish entry visa, plus an Austrian identity card. He presented himself at immigration as Mr X but sought asylum under his real name.
Mr X’s passport had been stolen from him in Vienna, leading to the Nigerian man ultimately pleading guilty here in May 2009 to handling stolen property and receiving a six-month sentence.
He sought asylum on grounds he fled Nigeria as a result of threats following his engagement to a Muslim woman when he was a Christian and also alleged his fiancee was murdered. The Refugee Appeals Tribunal dismissed his claims as not credible.
The man then sought to revoke deportation on grounds he had two Irish citizen children but that application was also rejected. He then sought to stay the deportation in the context of the Baby C access case.
Mr Justice Hogan said, as it was probable the man’s other child, born in Belfast, would live permanently in London with her mother and as the man was excluded from the UK following a conviction there for dishonesty, the position of that child was irrelevant in this case.
Dealing with the Baby C situation, he noted the man at some stage became involved with a professional qualified Irish woman – Ms Y – who intended to move to the UK to practice her profession.
Ms Y later alleged she was cruelly deceived by the man who somehow managed to lead an affluent lifestyle and led her to believe he was previously a male model, now working for a UK property firm, but never disclosed he had a criminal record and was in the asylum process.
Ms Y claimed she found herself unexpectedly pregnant in April 2010 and the relationship foundered soon after when she found allegedly compromising messages from another woman on the man’s phone. The man denied her claims.
Baby C was born in late 2010 and Ms Y claimed the man only sought access three months later. She alleged his guardianship proceedings are an opportunistic ploy to use his paternity of Baby C to his advantage in immigration proceedings.
There seemed very little prospect Ms Y and the man could be reconciled and therefore it could be assumed, if the man was deported, Baby C would have no contact with her father, the judge said. In those circumstances, he granted the stay pending the District Court outcome.