Notorious Croydon gang 'general' Joland Giwa freed after Government deportation bid fails
The self-styled "general" of one of Croydon's most notorious gangs is back on British streets after a Government bid to deport him failed.
An immigration tribunal ruled Joland Giwa, former leader of Don't Say Nothing, should be freed from detention, calling time the Home Office's four-year battle to boot him out of the UK.
Giwa is now required to live near Cardiff, Wales, after being bailed by the independent Immigation and Asylum Tribunal last month.
He is banned from entering any part of London.
The 24-year-old, said to have once commanded up to 80 gang members, was jailed for 27 months for two robberies in October 2008 and was set to be automatically deported upon his release.
But the deportation bid stalled amid a struggle to establish his nationality.
Giwa maintains he is from Sierra Leone but the country insists he is Nigerian, a claim rejected by the Nigerian authorities.
Linguistics experts, brought in to analyse Giwa's voice and establish his origins, failed to conclusively prove his nationality.
In October, a High Court judge said there was a "significant risk" of Giwa reoffending but ruled he should go free if the Home Office could not deport him within three months.
He is now living in south Wales after the tribunal granted his release, ending a 56-month stint in immigration detention during which he went on hunger strike in protest at his incarceration.
A Home Office spokeswoman said: "We vigorously opposed this individual's application for bail and we are very disappointed by the court's decision.
"He will be subject to rigorous monitoring, including an electronic tag, and we are continuing to fight for his removal from the UK."
Giwa's bail conditions prohibit his return to Croydon or any other London borough. They also require him to sign on at a Border Agency reporting centre in Cardiff twice a week, as well as sleep at a designated address nearby every night.
Giwa was jailed in 2008
During October's High Court hearing, Government lawyers and police officers told judges Giwa's criminality extended "well beyond" the offences of which he was convicted and that Don't Say Nothing had been the highest profile and most violent of the borough's gangs.
Sgt Darin Birmingham, former chief of Croydon police's gangs unit, told the court: "Joland Giwa is a serious threat to the public and other young people. He has a clear propensity for violence.
"It is well-known on the streets of Croydon that he has been charged with numerous offences but witnesses will not assist at court or pursuing allegations through fear.
"What makes him a leader and a man different from the others is his no-fear attitude of confrontation and violence, his gang and young youths are scared of him, and his violent behaviour and readiness at any times to use knives and weapon."
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.
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