Dying man fights to get Nigerian brother's visa for transplant

Isaac Aganozor Image copyright Evening Standard
Image caption Isaac Aganozor was diagnosed with leukaemia last August and urgently needs a bone marrow transplant

A caretaker at a top London school who needs a life-saving bone marrow transplant from his brother in Nigeria has been told he cannot come to the UK.

Isaac Aganozor, who works at Dulwich College, has leukaemia.

His brother Patrick, who lives in Nigeria, is a match but has been refused a visa by the Home Office.

The refusal letter says he did not meet economic requirements. Isaac Aganozor's MP said she was "appalled" by the decision.

In Nigeria Patrick Aganozor is said to earn £69 a month as a tricycle courier.

Dulwich College has offered to pay £1,500 for his return flight and to sponsor him during his stay by making sure he has accommodation.

The rejection letter from the British High Commission in Lagos said although it was aware of the compassionate circumstances, the application had to be assessed according to immigration rules.

It said it had to take into account his personal socio-economic circumstances, adding: "Given your limited economic circumstances in Nigeria I am not satisfied that these provide you with an incentive to leave the UK at the end of your stay as claimed."

Image copyright AP
Image caption Dulwich College has said it would pay for his brother to fly over for the operation

A new application is being submitted in the next couple of days.

Mr Aganozor, who is on his fifth cycle of chemotherapy, said: "I really need this transplant. I want to beg the Home Office, to beg the minister of immigration, please, consider my case.

"It should not be refused again, it should be granted. Patrick is not coming to the UK to stay. Patrick will definitely go back to Nigeria."

Helen Hayes, Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, said she was "appalled" by the decision.

"There is no reason to believe that he would be away for longer than is necessary," she said citing the fact that Mr Aganozor's brother supported his daughter and mother in Nigeria.

"This is not an ordinary situation - it's life or death - and they had all the information they needed to make a decision.

"I'm puzzled and dumbfound by the lack of compassion."

She said searches on the transplant register had not found a match so Mr Aganozor, of Sydenham Hill, south-east London, was forced to rely on his brother as his only hope.

"It shouldn't have come to this, we should have a system where if there is a clear case to come here they will be allowed," said Ms Hayes.

The Home Office said: "All cases are carefully considered on their individual merits and the onus is on the individual to provide the necessary supporting evidence to meet the UK immigration rules.

"We are sensitive to cases with compassionate circumstances but all visa applications must be assessed against the immigration rules.

"The applicant is free to submit a new application with supporting evidence."

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