Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Abuse claim mother faces deportation

Lola Ilesamni
Image caption Lola Ilesamni had been working as a business analyst for RBS

The mother of two young children in Livingston is facing deportation back to Nigeria after her estranged husband cancelled her visa.

Lola Ilesamni says she suffered domestic abuse at the hands of her husband.

And she said she was concerned about returning to Nigeria as he had wanted their young daughter to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM).

Her husband has previously denied allegations of domestic abuse.

And he also denies that he is supportive of FGM.

But Mrs Ilesamni claimed her husband's actions were being allowed to ruin the life she had built in Scotland for herself and her children.

She alleges that her relationship with her husband finally broke down in January of last year, when during the latest argument he pulled a knife from a kitchen drawer and threatened her and her three-year-old daughter.

She told BBC Scotland: "All I was thinking was what is he going to do now? Is he going to really kill us, is he really going to cut her?"

'Educated woman'

Mrs Ilesamni had been working as a business analyst with RBS for four years, but her visa was a joint one with her husband.

He took her off it after telling officials they were estranged. She has now been refused leave to stay in Scotland, but is appealing against the decision.

She said: "I am not here for benefits, I am not here to seek help from the government. I am an educated woman I just want to continue to empower myself so that I can continue to contribute to society, to contribute to the community.

"I have paid my tax for the past six years in this country and I want to continue to do that.

"All I ask is just to get my life back together and to not allow this man to win because that would be the height of abuse."

Image caption SNP MP Hannah Bardell has raised the case with the prime minister

Her case was raised by SNP MP Hannah Bardell at prime minister's questions on Wednesday.

Ms Bardell said: "My understanding is that if the Home Office give her indefinite leave to remain she can continue to work, she can continue to pay her mortgage and she can continue to bring up her children in Scotland, which is their home.

"We need people like Lola and her family to come and contribute - they want to contribute and they want to be part of our society. We should absolutely make sure that happens."

Responding to Ms Bardell in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Prime Minister Theresa May said the "abhorrent" practice of FGM will not be accepted in the UK.

And she said Home Secretary Amber Rudd was in the Commons to hear the case raised, but stopped short of offering her personal guarantee to take action to help Ms Bardell's constituent.

A spokeswoman for the Home Office said it was currently reviewing Mrs Ilesamni's case.

She added: "All applications for leave to remain are considered on their individual merits in line with the immigration rules."

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