A young girl with “significant” special needs born in Ireland after her pregnant Nigerian mother claimed she came here due to fears her unborn child might be subjected to female genital mutilation or human sacrifice has won her legal challenge to being refused refugee status.
The application by the girl (10) must be reconsidered by a different member of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal in light of the court’s findings, Ms Justice Mary Faherty directed.
The RAT’s finding the mother’s claim about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) ran “counter to generally known facts” did not meet the legal test of rationality or cogency set out in a 2011 High Court decision concerning FGM which was, “regrettably, a fact of life” for 19 per cent of females in Nigeria, the High Court judge held.
The girl’s mother came here in March 2005, days before her daughter was born, and was refused refugee status. In 2007, she sought asylum for the girl on grounds including fear the child might be subject to FGM and possible kidnapping and trafficking. The mother said she also feared it might be sought to sacrifice her daughter to appease the ghost of the child’s paternal grandfather, a pagan chief priest whose death was deemed by an “oracle” to have been caused by his son’s refusal to take on the role of chief priest.