A Nigerian who contracted AIDS from a contaminated needle in 1994 while working at a health centre in Minnesota., United States has won a landmark victory over his deportation to Nigeria.
The deportation order against Lawrence Amaechi Eneh has been reversed thereby giving the victim, a AIDS career temporary respite to stay on in the United States on the fear that he might be incarcerated and denied his medication in Nigeria.
A federal appeals court in San Francisco blocked his deportation on Thursday. Eneh was convicted of dealing in cannabis some years ago.
Lawrence Amaechi Eneh presented evidence that Nigerian officials would lock him up and withhold life-sustaining medication, which would amount to torture, said the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
The court ordered an immigration board to review Eneh’s case and consider his evidence about his possible incarceration on arrival in Nigeria.
According to Eneh solicitors, the convicted drug career entered the United States on a visa and contracted AIDS from a contaminated needle in 1994 while working at a health centre in Minnesota., United States.
His lawyer, Christopher Stender. Eneh claimed that Eneh gained legal residence in 2000 but was convicted of selling marijuana in Arizona in 2002, served a three-year prison sentence and was ordered to be deported.
The United States Federal law forbids deportation to a country where the deportee is likely to be tortured.
Eneh offered evidence, including U.S. government reports, that Nigeria’s government immediately imprisons anyone convicted of drug crimes in a foreign country and withholds medication from prisoners even if he is on AIDS medication.
An immigration judge had said in 2004 that he believed Eneh’s testimony but ruled that the evidence did not show he would be tortured in Nigeria.
He claimed Nigeria has an AIDS epidemic and can’t afford the needed medication, the judge said.
But the appeals court, in a 3-0 ruling, said Eneh’s evidence, if accepted, would show that Nigerian officials withhold AIDS medication to punish inmates with the disease.
“Eneh specifically testified that he would be intentionally tortured in Nigerian prisons because he has AIDS, and he presented documentary evidence that prison officials withhold medicine as a form of punishment,” Judge Cynthia Holcomb Hall said in the court opinion.
In denying CAT relief, the IJ stated, “It’s a shame, the respondent is very articulate and his sentence is two to five, a plea to allow him to remain in the United States and the Court would note that if this were a discretionary request, I would