Asylum seeker told he must go home

AN asylum seeker fighting to be allowed to stay with his friends in Ipswich has been told by a judge that he should return home.Mathias Edoh Agbenokoudji, from St Helen's Street, travelled to London yesterday to watch his legal team appeal to a court to overturn a Home Office decision to turn down his application for refuge.

AN asylum seeker fighting to be allowed to stay with his friends in Ipswich has been told by a judge that he should return home.

Mathias Edoh Agbenokoudji, from St Helen's Street, travelled to London yesterday to watch his legal team appeal to a court to overturn a Home Office decision to turn down his application for refuge.

The judge's decision to back the government's stance could now see the 32-year-old deported to Togo.

Lawyers acting for Mr Agbenokoudji were today due to submit a fresh claim for asylum on his behalf, but two similar claims have already been rejected by the Home Office during a five-year battle to stay.


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Today Mr Agbenokoudji, a web-designer, film-maker and musician who volunteers at CSV Media Clubhouse and Ipswich Community Radio in Princes Street, said he was told by his lawyer he may now be detained.

Mr Agbenokoudji maintains that he fears for his safety if he returns to his west African homeland, where he says he was involved with an opposition political movement.

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The asylum seeker's appeal to be allowed to stay in the UK has attracted support from his colleagues at CSV and ICR.

Earlier this month 78 people turned out to a protest on the steps of Ipswich Town Hall to call on the government to reverse its decision and to urge Ipswich MP Chris Mole to lobby on Mr Agbenokoudji's behalf.

Mr Mole said he could not intervene in the judicial process but asked him to gather new evidence of the threat he fears in Togo so that he had a basis to raise his case with a government minister.

Despite yesterday's setback, Mr Agbenokoudji vowed to continue his fight to win refuge.

He said: “I'm still positive. I need to fight until the end.”

Do you think Mathias Agbenokoudji should be allowed to stay? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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