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Ireland / High Court / [2012] IEHC 192

Iyikoreoluwa Iyinke Afolabi And John Adedapo Afolabi (An Infant Suing By His Mother And Next Friend) And Elizabeth Aderinsola Afolabi (An Infant Suing By Her Mother And Next Friend) And Samuel Ademidun Afolabi (An Infant Suing By His Mother And Next Friend Iyikoreoluwa Iyinke Afolabi) v The Minister For Justice And Equality, Ireland And The Attorney General

Policy area:
Asylum and migration
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
High Court
Decision date:

Key facts of the case:

The applicants were a mother and her three children, all of whom were Nigerian nationals. The applicants applied for asylum in Ireland, basing their claim upon a series of incidents which the mother claims happened in March 2007. She affirmed that her husband hid in their home four men who worked with him as foreign oil workers in order to protect them from some militants who were pursuing them to kidnap them. Once the militants found out that he had been protecting them, they returned fully armed and demanded the amount of the ransom they had placed on the heads of the men in question and gave the husband one week to pay it. The woman affirmed that the matter was reported to the police; nevertheless, no action was taken by the police. She claimed that the militants kidnapped her husband and her first born son and that she has not heard of either of them since. She claims that the militants beat and raped her. Their asylum applications were, nevertheless, rejected upon the ground that it was not believed "that she ever had the difficulties she alleges in her country of origin or has any fear of returning there as she claims". In fact, she had no evidence to substantiate her claim  They applied for judicial review of the decision of the Minister for Justice refusing applications for subsidiary protection and making deportation orders in respect of them.

Outcome of the case:

Due to the fact that the applicant's statements were not found to be coherent or plausible and she had clearly failed to establish her general credibility having admitted to providing false information at an early stage of the asylum process and changing her account of her travel to the State, the High Court held that it was reasonable and rational for the decision makers to discount the credibility of the events upon which the claim was based and not to accord her the benefit of the doubt. Upon these grounds, the High Court was satisfied with the decisions sought to be challenged. The High Court granted leave to seek judicial review on only one ground, that the Minister for Justice had not  personally considered whether the State's non-refoulement obligations would be breached by the deportation of the applicants.