Okafor (respondent) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department (appellant)

Thursday 14 December 2023

Appeal by the Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) against the decision of the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber dated 17 June 2022 allowing Okafor’s (O) appeal against the SSHD’s decision cancelling leave to remain and refusing admission to the UK.

SSHD cancelled O’s leave on the basis that he is a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat. O, a national of Nigeria who had been living in the USA, had been sentenced in the US to 350 months of imprisonment for possession of heroin with intent to supply and has repeatedly lied in more recent entry applications stating that he had no previous convictions. He served almost 26 years of that sentence. He married a Swedish national in 2019 and she had moved to the UK in 2014. He made 2 unsuccessful visa applications to visit his wife in the UK and failed to disclose his conviction. He obtained an EEA Family Permit in July 2020, again not disclosing the conviction.

The First Tier Tribunal on 27 May 2021 allowed O’s appeal finding a low likelihood of re-offending.

The UT set aside the FTT’s decision in a determination dated 28th February 2022. At the re-hearing the issue before the UT was whether O, who did not pose a current risk of re-offending, can still represent a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat. The UT dismissed SSHD’s appeal. Although the offending was serious it was not offending that fell within the exceptional or unusual category that invoked the Bouchereau exception. Similarly the immigration deception did not fall within the exception.

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