By Chinelo Obogo
The Immigration Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board in Canada has rejected the asylum request of a former official of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Olushola Popoola, over the extra judicial killings carried out by the defunct security division of the Nigerian Police Force.
The Canadian Immigration said Popoola, who left Nigeria in 2016 for the United States, before he travelled to Canada, where he claimed refugee status, was a SARS official between 2002 and 2015.
Popoola was found “inadmissible pursuant to section 35(1)(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, SC 2001, c 27 [the Act]” because “the Nigeria Police Force, and the SARS, in particular, have committed crimes against humanity from 2002 to 2015”, including “corruption and impunity” as well as “extrajudicial killings”.
The ex SARS official, subsequently, approached the Federal Court of Canada, to seek judicial review of his determination of inadmissibility, saying that he had resigned in 2011, but the Force did not accept his resignation, so he continued till 2015.
On April 8, 2021, the presiding judge, Sébastien Grammond, dismissed the application for judicial review, while upholding the decision of the Immigration Division, saying that Popoola resigned for personal reasons, not because he learned of human rights abuses.