A naturalized Canadian citizen who spent eight months in Ontario detention centres awaiting immigration officers to confirm his identification is suing the Canada Border Providers Agency for $10 million.
Olajide Ogunye, 47, was born in Nigeria and moved to Canada together with his household within the 1990s. A number of years after that, in 1996, he turned a Canadian citizen. However his citizenship and Ontario well being playing cards didn’t persuade CBSA officers of his identification after they approached him outdoors his Toronto house on June 1, 2016, as he was headed to work on the hair salon he owned.
“I used to be confused, actually confused,” Ogunye says. The officers instructed him they had been doing a sweep of the realm, he says.
After the officers searched his house and instructed him they didn’t consider he was really Olajide Ogunye, they introduced him to CBSA’s base at Pearson airport, the Better Toronto Enforcement Centre.
In response to Ogunye’s assertion of declare, the officers ran his fingerprints, which they stated matched the identification of a person named Oluwafemi Kayode Johnson, a failed refugee claimant who had been deported from Canada to Nigeria within the 1990s.
Ogunye says he was instructed the CBSA believed he was really Johnson, who had returned to Canada illegally and assumed Ogunye’s identification. These fingerprints, in response to court docket paperwork, had been by no means produced by the CBSA to Ogunye.
“It was very irritating. Any person telling you you are not your title,” says Ogunye. “I confirmed all of them my IDs. I confirmed them my citizenship. How are you going to place a Canadian citizen in jail?”
8 months behind bars
Ogunye says he was locked up for a complete of eight months, from June 2016 via February 2017, spending a month at Maplehurst Correctional Advanced in Milton, Ont., and the remainder of his time at Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ont., a medium/most safety jail. Due to nearly each day lockdowns, Ogunye claims, he was unable to contact members of the family.
“One time, for the entire month, I used to be crying continuous. I used to be crying repeatedly,” he remembers, and was placed on suicide watch as his psychological state suffered. “The nurse needed to give me melancholy tablets to make me relax.”
Ogunye says his bodily well being declined as properly, and he was taking tablets every day for hypertension, melancholy and a prostate situation.
‘They destroyed my life’
On Feb. 4, 2017, he was launched. CBSA issued a report on his launch, detailing efforts to interview members of Ogunye’s members of the family. The primary interview was carried out 6½ months after his preliminary arrest.
Ogunye says he needs to sue for $10 million due to how lengthy the investigation into his identification took.
“They put me via so much. They destroyed my life. I misplaced my job,” stated Ogunye. “They destroyed my household. I haven’t got an excellent relationship with my children anymore. I do not assume that is going to come back again.”
The identical report from CBSA mentions Ogunye has been convicted of assorted expenses, together with fraud, impersonation and possession of a bank card obtained by crime, and the officers discovered an “subject of his credibility.” The report says there’s “little question this individual detained is Ogunye” but additionally states in the identical paragraph, “the individual in custody could also be Olajide Obabukunola Ogunye.”
Ogunye’s lawyer says it finally comes all the way down to the very fact his shopper’s constitution rights have been violated.
“The person who’s being focused is a Canadian citizen,” says immigration lawyer Adam Hummel. “A person … who reveals his identification card just isn’t mechanically given the advantage of the doubt however is questioned and accused of being another person and detained whereas an investigation is happening.
“The reality is, if that is the way in which they are going to conduct themselves, it might occur to anybody,” he says.
Hummel says the CBSA had a “obligation of care” to Ogunye however breached this obligation, and his “illegal detention was the results of hasty decision-making and a negligent investigation.”
CBC Toronto requested the CBSA why it wasn’t in a position to confirm Ogunye’s identification if he had been beforehand charged and, on quite a few events, convicted of assorted crimes beneath the title “Olajide Ogunye” and why the investigation took eight months. It instructed CBC Toronto it’s conscious of a lawsuit however that any additional remark could be “inappropriate.”