Nigerian asylum seeker
Lesbian asylum seeker Apata AdejumokeYoutube

A Nigerian lesbian asylum seeker in the UK risks capital punishment if she is deported to Nigeria.

Apata Adejumoke, 46, managed to flee the country in 2004. Her girlfriend, who chose to stay, was brutally murdered by vigilantes eight years later.

Before she escaped,  Adejumoke  was subjected to homophobic torture, persecution and a brutal arrest after she was exposed as a gay woman. 

As Nigeria is widely governed by sharia law, she was also sentenced to death by stoning.

In a YouTube video for the group Movement of Justice (MFJ), aimed at persuading people to sign a petition against Adejumoke's deportation, the asylum seeker says: "Returning to Nigeria is not an option for me, because as well as a death sentence hanging over me, I will face 14 years in prison due to the anti-gay law that was passed by the Nigerian Government in January 2014."

The Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2013 - the so-called "Jail the Gays" bill - imposes prison sentences of up to 14 years on those found guilty of involvement in a gay marriage or civil union.

Anyone who registers, operates or takes part in gay organisations, or who makes a public show of a same-sex relationship can face to up to 10 years in prison.

"I want to remain in the UK in order to contribute positively to the society and support my girlfriend, who I am now engaged to," Adejumoke says in the video.

According to Pink News, Europe's largest gay news service, many people who flee homophobic and transphobic persecution abroad are still being let down by the UK when it comes to providing asylum.

This is due to a lack of understanding of the real threat of persecution because of a person's sexual identity.

S Chelvan, one of the country's leading barristers for LGBT asylum seekers' rights, told Pink News: "There is a lot of ignorance around, not only within the Home Office and the government but also within the tribunal system and court system – especially when I started in relation to what it means to be a gay asylum seeker, and from that the most basic thing of what it means to be gay."