Nigerian gay rights activist who was told by a judge that she was faking her sexuality has won a 13-year battle to be granted asylum in the UK.
Aderonke Apata feared being killed or imprisoned if she returned home, but her application for asylum was rejected for a second time in 2015 after the judge said he did not believe she was a lesbian.
Her cause gained widespread support when it was revealed that, in an act of desperation, she sent a private video to the judge as evidence of her sexuality.
As a result, multiple petitions in support of Ms Apata’s asylum bid were created, gaining hundreds of thousands of signatures between them.
The “Asylum for Aderonke” Facebook page, run by supporters, has now been updated to say her application had been successful and “she has been granted refugee status”.
After being granted asylum, Ms Apata said she was “overwhelmed with gladness,” but remains angry “knowing that there are other LGBTI people seeking asylum facing the same fear of deportation that I had just overcome.”
“I was just crying on the phone with my solicitor when he broke the news to me,” she said. “I must have embarrassed him. I wasn’t assimilating all of the information he was giving to me on the phone as I was crying and singing.”