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Jamaica accused of deporting American without due process

Published:Friday | July 3, 2015 | 7:04 AMBarbara Gayle Justice Coordinator

The Jamaican government is being accused of deporting a 25-year-old man to the United States without due process and possibly illegally removing the man's wife and child. 

Attorney-at-law, Bert Samuels, is making the claim about his client, Kwame Abayomi, who he says was born in the US. 

Samuels says his client was deported yesterday following a court hearing on Wednesday in which senior magistrate, Judith Pusey made the recommendation.

Abayomi reportedly came to Jamaica in 2012, while on bail for two offences committed in the US. 

 

Debbie-Ann Wright reports

Kwame Abayomi was charged last month for overstaying and pleaded guilty when he appeared before the magistrate in the Corporate Area Criminal Court on Wednesday.

The magistrate ordered that Abayomi pay a fine of $5,000 or be imprisoned for 30 days.

She also recommended that he be deported. 

However, Abayomi's attorney, Bert Samuels, says he told the court he would be appealing the recommendation on the basis that the magistrate is not empowered to do so under the Aliens Act. 

As a result he said his client would remain in jail as he was not going to pay the fine.

Samuels filed the appeal in the afternoon following the court hearing.

Yesterday, Samuels also wrote to the National Security Minister, Peter Bunting, requesting that no deportation order be made. 

The lawyer also advised Bunting that the man was in the process of applying for his Jamaican citizenship.

However, Samuels is contending that despite the notice of appeal and the citizenship application, the Jamaican government went ahead and deported Abayomi. 

He has labeled the move as scandalous. 

Meanwhile, The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre understands that the man was charged in the US state of Virginia with eluding the police and having a concealed weapon some years ago.

It is understood that he came to Jamaica while on bail in 2012 and remained until up to his deportation yesterday.

Samuels claims the two offences against the man are not ones which make him liable for extradition under Jamaican law. 

Meanwhile, the man's mother is alleging that Jamaican authorities visited their home in Manchester yesterday and took Abayomi's wife and their one-year-old child. 

She says their status is not known.

The wife is said to be a citizen of the Dominican Republic and an American green card holder.