Nonso Muojeke was spared from deportation from Ireland, where he and his mother and older brother have lived since he was two.
In the touching story shared by RTE, Nonso and his family had moved to Ireland after his father died in 2007 to escape the ill-treatment his mother faced.
Her application for an asylum had been declined and the family was served a deportation order. An application for humanitarian leave was refused in 2017, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) telling them that it was time to return to Nigeria.
Classmates of Nonso, however, shared a petition that was signed by over 21,000 people, asking that the deportation order be revoked. It would be unfair for Nonso to return to a country he didn’t know, they said.
The Department of Justice did listen, revoking the order, and the Muojeke family is now free to live and work in Ireland.
Nonso was ecstatic, saying:
I would like to thank the Minister [for Justice] for the humane way in which he handled my case. I am very grateful to my friends, my school, the Tullamore community and everyone else who has supported me. I am really looking forward to my future here in Ireland.
I didn’t really expect it to come so soon, I would have expected another year or two. When I heard it at 1 o’clock in the morning, my mom woke me up just to tell me, she was so happy, she kept on talking about it, she was texting Joe and Ann and all the people who supported us.
I was mostly thinking about what’s going to happen now, what’s going to happen in my future? We’ve been reading the documents, how we have to go through everything to finally solidify the residency process.
Watch Nonso and his classmates:
Celebrations at Tullamore College after 14-year-old student was granted leave to remain in Ireland pic.twitter.com/119kT9mG5y
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) October 11, 2018