Abiola Famakinwa, mother of three children, 14, 12 and 6, is a Biomedical Scientist who was sadly widowed when her husband, a renowned journalist in Nigeria – Samuel Oluwasanmi Famakinwa died under mysterious circumstances in the Northern Part of Nigeria.
Although she was six months pregnant at the time she had to leave the country with her children in fear of her own and her children’s lives.
Support This Campaign!
My name is Abiola Famakinwa. I am a Biomedical Scientist originally from Nigeria.
I have three children.
My husband, Samuel Famakinwa, was a popular investigative journalist for This Day newspaper. His work focused a lot on economic matters. Because of his work, and the work of his fellow journalists, the newspaper was often targeted by extremist groups.
My husband never told me about his work for fear he would expose myself and the children to danger. Me and my husband were attacked and there were numerous attempts to break into our home.
My husband was one day invited by a Governor to the Borno State (this Governor has links to the extremist group Boko Haram), a long way from our home in Lagos, to an isolated location to discuss some surreptitious matter with him.
I did not receive any word form my husband for twenty-four hours and became very agitated and scared for him. A strange man answered his phone and I began hearing rumours of his disappearance.
I was informed that my husband was dead. They claimed it was due to cardiac arrest, but I am certain that my husband was killed for his investigative work. I demanded answers about his death, and this placed me at serious risk. Everyone around me told me I had to stop asking questions and keep my head down.
I fled to America after that, where my third child was born, staying with a family friend. My mental health deteriorated drastically at this time. I did nothing but stay inside and grieve.
I had already been accepted onto a course in Kingston, Surrey, so I left for England. I studied in the UK as a student of Biomedical Science.
I knew how hard it was to claim asylum here. I tried to come here legally, but my work permit was rejected. I went to Nigeria incognito to collect my children before coming back to the UK where I claimed asylum.
The Home Office rejected my asylum claim - even though they accepted that my husband's death was very suspicious, they said this would not affect me. They said that because I had been to Nigeria since, it showed I was safe, despite the fact that I was sure to keep my profile low whilst I was there.
I want to build a new life here in England, which is my home now, where I have so many friends and where my children are safe and thriving in school. As a Biomedical Scientist, I want to work here in medicine.
My husband's death has gone unanswered for. This tragedy has hurt my family beyond words, as well as our struggles within the asylum system. I suffer from anxiety which has severely affected my health. Myself and my two elder children are receiving counseling.
We want the authorities own up to the targeting of journalists and their families and come clean about what happened to my husband in Borno state.
Please donate to Abiola's campaign to help her successfully build her case to stay in the UK.
News & Updates
16/02/2015 - PUBLIC MEETING OF THE 'JUSTICE & SECURITY FOR THE FAMAKINWA FAMILY' CAMPAIGN IN WIGAN 23RD FEBRUARY 2015!
ABIOLA SPEAKS AT FREE WORDS FESTIVAL
ABIOLA FAMAKINWA SPEAKS AT THE RHYTHM & JUSTICE CAMPAIGN LAUNCH IN CROSS STREET CHAPEL
01/09/2014 - Rhythm & Justice Event @ Cross Street Chapel Many thanks to all our friends who came along, thank you for making this event a success, your support is always appreciated.
03/08/2014 - CAMPAIGN LAUNCH FOR THE FAMAKINWA FAMILY!
To celebrate the launch of the Justice & Security for the Famakinwa Family campaign, we are hosting a 'Rhythm & Justice' event at Cross Street Chapel on the 30th August, 12pm -4pm.
Hope to see you all there!
06/05/2014 - SAFETY & SECURITY FOR THE FAMILIES OF PERSECUTED JOURNALISTS!
02/12/2013 - WRITE IN SUPPORT OF THE FAMAKINWA FAMILY!
Your support for Abiola and her children is desperately needed.
We are asking supporters to write letters of support to Abiola's MP at:
Yvonne Fovargue MP
Wigan Investment Centre,
Yvonne Fovargue MP
House of Commons,
Please send any copies of your letters of support to us here at RAPAR at:
Friends' Meeting House
6 Mount Street
Personal letters are greatly appreciated but you can also download a model letter here.