Joland Giwa, Don't Say Nothing gang 'general', could be free in weeks after Home Office deportation bid fails
A self-styled gang "general" could be back on the streets of Croydon within months after a Home Office bid to deport him stalled.
A High Court judge this week ruled it would be illegal to detain Joland Giwa, 24, a prominent member of the Don't Say Nothing gang, beyond the next three months amid a struggle to prove his true nationality.
It means Home Secretary Theresa May will be forced to free Giwa, who has been in immigration detention for more than four years after completing a 27-month prison term, unless officials can secure him a passport for his home nation.
Giwa, who was jailed for a string of robberies, has no identity documents but says he is from Sierra Leone.
However, Sierra Leone refuses to recognise him as a national and maintains he is Nigerian, a claim which is refuted by Nigeria.
Yesterday, High Court judge John Keyser rejected Giwa's legal bid for freedom on the grounds he posed a "significant risk" of reoffending.
But he added Giwa's prolonged detention would be unlikely to be considered "reasonable or lawful".
Joland Giwa posted photos of himself on Facebook while in jail
Giwa and his twin brother Mikey arrived in the UK on a flight from Nigeria in 1999 when they were aged just 10. They flew without a guardian and their parents are believed to be dead.
The brothers' convictions, dating back to 2004, include indecent assault on a girl under 16, handling stolen goods, robbery, affray, possession of cannabis and theft.
Key Don't Say Nothing's members were jailed during 2008 and 2009 after a year-long operation by a Metropolitan Police gangs unit led by Sergeant Darin Birmingham, who yesterday said Joland Giwa posed "a clear threat to the public".
During his jail term Giwa - whose street name is Dexter - posted pictures of himself on Facebook and boasted he would be returning to Croydon soon.
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