It was very emotional, having to tell the story of his ‘undignified’ deportation from a place he considered his second home; Britain.
In tears, he explained how he was escorted by 5 heavily built men into the back row of the Kenya Airways airplane where he was shielded from everyone else and prevented from making any calls; not to say goodbye or to inform anyone of his departure.
“Five people escorting you around the world, they squeeze into and march you up the back of the steps…they stick me in the middle and are creating a shield so no one can see me. All I wanted to say was goodbye, to say I’m sorry, because the plane was leaving but they won’t let me, I had to call my dad to at least tell him so that he could prepare to come and meet me but they won’t let me”.
After much persuasion he said, they gave him the opportunity to call just to prevent him from making a scene.
“My voice starts to rise and I start to get quite loud, the other passengers start to look and at this point they realise if they don’t give me the phone, there’s going to be a problem so they let me call my dad and quickly texted my girlfriend and the plane took off”, he continued.
‘Five people, to transport one person, like a piece of cargo’. They asked if I wanted to be violent, I told them I just wanted to go home that’s why I offered to leave myself when the legal process was done, when we went to the home office I said once the legal process was done, I will buy my own ticket, board my plane and leave because I did not want this undignified treatment, give us more time, I’ll say goodbye properly and fly myself only for this to happen on that day, I don’t know why but they forced it”.
Adoboli continued to narrate happenings from when he touched down in Ghana till the time he was welcomed by his family. He also explained how that his fight to remain a citizen of Britain was not because he preferred Britain any more than he did Ghana, he merely believes no one in his position should be made to choose between two ‘pillars of their heritage’.
“I arrive, I get picked up by the Ghana Immigration Service and the CID, they take me to the Police Headquarters, ask me some questions, I fill some forms then I start to get agitated because I just want to see my family. I made calls and my whole family came to the CID so they let me go”.
“It is worse to be deported from the UK than it is to be imprisoned in the UK. I’ve consistently said that no one in my position should be forced to choose between the two pillars of their heritage. I’m a proud. British citizen because I grew up there but I was also born in Ghana. Nobody should have to choose between the two because they are both central to my identity”, he explained.
Adding, “That’s what I was trying to protect, the British part of my identity, not to reject Ghana, Ghana is my home too. When you are deported, you cannot return to that country for a period of 10 years. On top of that, you have to apply and the same test you do to be deported is the same test they do to determine if you can go back, so once they’ve deported you, actually, you cannot go back. Because of the G20 communication between these countries, once I’ve been deported, I can’t go to Europe, America, Japan and definitely not the U.K”. He was however humbled and thankful about the rousing welcome he returned home to, he was at least consoled by the fact that he still had something to be grateful for he said.
“The deportation process is violent, when I arrived here, I was overwhelmed by emotions, my family was here, about 30 people, they came to welcome me home. There is nothing more humbling than coming home to your family and realizing that they also must celebrate the moment that you come home because it is the first time in seven years that I am free. I was just so humbled to be home”.
About his girlfriend Alice, he had this to say, “She is devastated, yesterday on the phone, for one and half hours, she just cried, she couldn’t breathe, just cried and cried, there’s nothing more devastating than to see your girlfriend cry and not being able to help her, it’s impossible to describe. There are so many people to say thank you to, everyone who signed the petition, and everyone who fought in Ghana here too, my mother and father, it’s been such a battle”.
Mr. Adoboli is however is resolute that the fight to correct the ‘discriminatory’ laws will persist.
“This fight is not over, it’s not really goodbye, I don’t think we lost. I don’t think it’s over, we will keep fighting because it’s the right thing to do, we’ll change the law because it is the right thing to do”, he said.
Adoboli, a former investment manager was convicted for illegally trading away US$2 billion during his days at the Swiss investment bank UBS.
He had been charged with two counts of fraud by abuse of position and four counts of false accounting.
He was in prison on remand until 8 June 2012, when he was granted bail subject to being electronically tagged and placed under curfew at a friend’s house.]On the morning of 20 November 2012, a jury at Southwark Crown.
Court unanimously found Adoboli guilty on one count of fraud.
Later the same day, after receiving an instruction allowing for a majority decision with a single vote against, the jury found him guilty of a second count of fraud. The jury also found him not guilty on the four false accounting charges. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Adoboli served out his sentence at HMP Verne in Dorset, then at HMP Ford in West Sussex and finally at HMP Maidstone in Kent. He was released in June 2015 and has since been fighting the attempt at deportation in court until he was deported this week.
His family welcomed him with open arms to a sumptuous dish; banku and soup.