Luqman Stays — Forever

One of our members and residents, Luqman Onikosi, has finally won his fight to assert his right to live in the UK. Here’s what Luqman had to say:

28th of September 2020 was the last day the Home Office had to decide whether or not to appeal the decision of the Upper Tier Tribunal to award me a Leave to Remain. I can now inform you that the Home Office did not appeal the decision of the Upper Tier Tribunal. This means that I am free. The battle is over. I have won my case!

Before now, I have particularly been consumed for many years about how I can best express my gratitude to every individual who has supported emotionally, donated to my campaign, and committed to coming to court with me in the past 9 years of my struggle against my removal from the UK. The point is I don’t know how to thank you because I owe each and every one of you immensely. You have given me a new lease of life and so much to live for.

How do I repay you for your time in coming to court, emotional support and financial generosity? Without which I and my campaign would not have survived. All I have is my words to convey my extreme gratitude. Yet, words do not seem enough to describe and convey my gratitude. I can only say thank you from the bottom of my heart for your unflinching fervent support. I will cherish this new freedom that has just been bestowed up me for the rest of my life.

Lots of love

Luqman Temitayo Onikosi

Al Medinah Mosque

Many of you will have had the privilege of meeting or working with Luqman. Many more of you will have that privilege in the years to come. I am much too emotional to write any kind of analysis of what has happened. It is the most wonderful news.

Luqman has taught me, and so many others, so much. It is mindbending that three home secretaries have all considered it in the UK’s best interest to send Luqman to Nigeria and his certain death. The most feckless, nasty, mean and selfish individual would not deserve that treatment. Luqman is the opposite of such a person. His generosity, his open-mindedness, his commitment to others, his intelligence, his ability to forgive and his very being are an inspiration to anybody who meets him.

For nine years he has suffered the indignities of being on the wrong side of the hostile environment. To compound that he has had to live with a death sentence hanging over him. In that time, he has founded the Jollof Café, the Sussex Refugee and Migrant Self Support Group, taught at the Free University of Brighton, organised Islamic speed dating at Al Medina mosque, Refugee Valentine, iRefugee and I don’t know how many other events, worked indefatigably for T4K and helped me understand what it is to be a human being.

My world is richer for knowing and loving Luqman. I am now able to look forward to being friends with Luqman for the rest of our lives. It is such a wonderful feeling.

Luqman, a black man in his thirties, leaning on a white wall and smiling