An Ottawa family is begging the Canadian government to intervene as they face deportation to Nigeria in less than a week.
Aisha Kolo and her two daughters settled in the national capital two years ago after fleeing from the African country a few years prior.
“I ran to the USA and came into Canada,” said Kolo. “Because of my children, for me to be safe and for my children to be safe.”
Kolo says they fled from Nigeria over safety fears that were linked to her husband’s job,
“I’ve been in the house mourning because the worst thing that will ever happen to me is for them to send me back to Nigeria because this is where I’m running from,” she said.
The 50-year-old applied for refugee status for her and her two daughters.
Immigration documents supplied to CTV News show the refugee claim stated a number of reasons, including a fear for safety in Nigeria.
The documents show their refugee status was rejected twice, including through an appeal process.
Chantal Desloges is not involved in the case, but weighed in as a senior lawyer.
“The board member believed them in terms of the risks that they feared in Nigeria. However, the board found against them in that they felt they could probably relocate internally within Nigeria and seek safety in a different city,” said Desloges, a senior partner for Desloges Law Group.
While waiting for what’s next, Kolo said she had to stop working as a personal support worker. She says her daughters also stopped their studies at university.
“I have peace of mind here in Canada, but imagine what it’s going to be like in Nigeria for me,” said Niman Kolo, Aisha’s daughter.
Both of Kolo’s daughters were accepted to Carleton University, one with a scholarship for aerospace engineering.
“When I got accepted into Carleton it was pretty much a dream come true,” said Niman Kolo, Aisha’s daughter. “It was a dream come true because in Nigeria there is no opportunity to study engineering, especially aerospace engineering.”
Kinkin Kolo, Aisha’s daughter, said it has been a dream to get a higher education in Canada.
Border Services documents provided to CTV News shows their removal from Canada is scheduled for Oct. 13.
“They say no we have to leave, so I’m just begging the government of Canada to do something,” said Kolo.
She has also filed a humanitarian and compassionate application in the meantime, but experts say while waiting for a decision; it’s still illegal to remain in Canada.
CTV News also reached out to Anita Vandenbeld, Member of Parliament for Ottawa West-Nepean, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, but did not hear back before publication.
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