High Court reserves judgement on Kunle

The High Court has reserved judgment in an application by Nigerian student Olukunle (Kunle) Elukanlo to prevent his deportation from Ireland.

Lawyers for the 21-year-old Nigerian, who has been living at Palmerstown in Co Dublin, are seeking to prevent his deportation on a number of grounds.

Kunle is seeking a declaration that the deportation will infringe his constitutional rights and his rights under the European Convention of Human Rights. He is also seeking an order for the Minister of Justice Michael McDowell to revoke or amend the deportation order made on March 14 last.

The application for leave to seek a judicial review and for an injunction to prevent the deportation is supported by Kunle's baby son, Adam, who was born on March 23 last and who was separately represented in the proceedings by Ms Dervla Browne SC.

Adam, who is an Irish citizen, is seeking a declaration that the deportation would infringe his constitutional rights and his family rights by depriving him of the right to have the support and society of his father.

Kunle was initially deported a year ago but permitted to return to Ireland following a campaign organised by his fellow students at Palmerstown Community School and backed by the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin.

Campaigners said he should be allowed to at least complete his Leaving Certificate examinations and Minister for Justice Michael McDowell performed a U-turn and gave Mr Elunkanlo a six-month permit.

After leaving Palmerstown Community School, he signed up for an engineering course at Greenhills College in Walkinstown, but last month another order was issued for Mr Elunkanlo to be removed from the country.

The court was told that Kunle met Adam's mother, a 19-year-old Irish girl, in 2004 and she became pregnant in August, 2005. The mother is concerned about media invasion of her privacy and after the birth of Adam by Caesarian section a photographer tried to enter her hospital room and journalists were outside her home.

Mr Brian O' Moore SC , for the Minister for Justice, submitted that Kunle had deliberately kept hidden in his dealings with the Department that he had a pregnant Irish girlfriend.

He said that what Mr Elukanlo wanted to do was that, after the birth of his child, to say that he was the father of an Irish child and that he has rights.

Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne said she would reserve judgment in the case and in the meantime the temporary injunction preventing his deportation remains in place.

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