21-year-old Nigerian hangs himself in UK over fear of deportation

It’s always sad to report stories like this about Nigerians in diaspora.

An inquest into the death of a Nigerian detainee, Riliwanu Balogun who was found hanged at a Young Offender’s Institute in the UK a day after his 21st birthday in 2011 has revealed he killed himself because he feared being sent back to Nigeria.

According to a BBC Report, Balogun moved to the UK when he was seven years old and spent much of his childhood in institutions.

A senior prison officer, Paul Mayfield said at the hearing that he was scared of being deported back to Nigeria. “He told me he had nothing to live for. He said ‘I’ll be deported back to Nigeria. I’ve got no-one back there. I’ll be living in the slums’.” BBC reports.

In April 2011, Balogun was transferred to Glen Parva Young Offender’s Institute in Leicester, which holds men aged 18 to 21. But on May 8, 2011, he was found hanged in his cell. The morning he was found hanged, he was assessed by staff after cutting himself.

It was reported that he was taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary after staff tried to revive him but died a week later.

The hearing also revealed he had a string of previous convictions and that at the end of April he struggled to speak to a nurse because he was sobbing so hard.

It’s really shocking to hear such news which speaks very little of the living standards and quality of life here in Nigeria. He was only 21 and killed himself because he feared being deported back to Nigeria, a place where he knew no one and would probably live in the slums. May his soul rest in peace.

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