MP backs Mathias

IPSWICH MP Chris Mole today pledged to step in to help stop an asylum seeker being deported to his home country of Togo.This latest development comes after nearly 80 people turned out at the Cornhill to support a campaign to let Mathias Edoh Agbenokoudji, of St Helen's Street, Ipswich, remain in the UK.

IPSWICH MP Chris Mole today pledged to step in to help stop an asylum seeker being deported to his home country of Togo.

This latest development comes after nearly 80 people turned out at the Cornhill to support a campaign to let Mathias Edoh Agbenokoudji, of St Helen's Street, Ipswich, remain in the UK.

Mr Mole has now spoken with Home Office officials about the case and has also met Mr Agbenokoudji to discuss the plan of action.

He has promised to intervene if Mr Agbenokoudji is threatened with deportation again.

The 32-year-old film-maker, web designer and musician has been battling to stay in the UK permanently for the last five years, however the government and courts have ruled that he should return to his west African homeland.

Following a meeting with Mr Agbenokoudji, Mr Mole contacted the Felixstowe office of the UK Border and Immigration Agency, who agreed to temporarily hold his removal from the UK.

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Mr Mole said: “Because the asylum process is judicial in nature I cannot as an MP intervene with the decision making process, however I will raise questions where either new evidence has come to light or there has been a failure of process.

“As a last resort I can ask the immigration minister to review a decision and I have done this on a number of occasions.

“Mathias' position remains precarious, but I have now received some paperwork from him about his case and I have met with Mathias to determine what more I might be able to do to ensure his case has been properly considered.

“I have promised to intervene again if any removal is threatened before legal process is complete and I have asked Mathias to gather new evidence of the threat he fears in Togo so that I have the basis for a case to raise with the minister if that proves necessary.”

Mr Agbenokoudji, a volunteer at Ipswich Community Radio and the CSV Media Clubhouse in Princes Street, who helps people with computer literacy and in designing websites for community groups and charities, says he fears for his life if he returns to Togo because of his membership of an anti-government group.

After seeing so many people come out to support him on Thursday night, he said: “I was just so overwhelmed. I would hope that the government listens to the public.”

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