Politicians want answers for why ex-gangster is in Newport
12:50pm Thursday 23rd January 2014 in News
AS the reasons behind the decision to house alleged gang leader Joland Giwa in Newport remain unclear, local politicians have continued to challenge the Home Office for answers.
Mr Giwa, 24, was granted bail on December 4 by the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal after the Home Office failed to deport him.
Prior to this he had been in immigration detention for more than four years after completing a 27-month prison term for two robbery convictions.
Following MP for Newport West Paul Flynn’s decision to write to home secretary Theresa May demanding to know why local politicians were not consulted about the move, Newport East MP Jessica Morden also wrote to her on Monday.
Mr Giwa was said to be the leader of a violent gang based in Croydon, South London. A lack of identity documents has made it difficult for the Home Office to deport him.
He told the Argus he meant no harm to Newport, and wrote to Mr Flynn apologising for being “dumped” on the city.
Miss Morden said she had written to the Home Office after several of her constituents contacted her.
She said: “I wrote to Theresa May to convey their concerns and ask how it ended up that he was placed in Newport and what the circumstances of the case were.
“I think it’s important we get a quick response and questions are asked about how the processes work.”
Ms Morden had yet to receive a reply as of yesterday.
Neither Mr Giwa’s barrister nor their instructing solicitors from Brighton Housing Trust said they were involved in the placing of him in Newport.
Similarly, the Home Office and the UK Border Agency said the decision was nothing to with them, but decided by the courts.
The Ministry of Justice has been unable to clarify how and why the decision was made. Conservative Councillor Matthew Evans said: “Essentially we need transparency. I think the constituents and residents of Newport deserve to know how this happened and to be honest, getting enshrouded in a veil of secrecy isn’t going to help the situation at all.”
He added: “I think it’s a job for our MP to demand answers.”
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