THE decision on whether Pamela Izevbekhai is to be deported from Ireland following a long-running legal battle is due to be made within weeks after judgment by the European Court of Human Rights.
The Department of Justice and the Nigerian mother's legal team had a deadline of 3pm last Friday to make their final submissions to the European court.
The Department of Justice made its final submission outlining its observations about why the Nigerian woman and her two daughters should be deported after a six-year legal battle.
Izevbekhai's legal adviser also made a submission in support of her application to remain in Ireland in time to meet the deadline. It is understood the decision of the European Court of Human Rights will be made within weeks and all parties will be informed of the outcome.
Izevbekhai, who claims her two daughters Naomi (9) and Jemima (8) face genital mutilation (FGM) if deported to Nigeria, has exhausted all her domestic legal remedies in Ireland. She initially claimed her first-born daughter Elizabeth died in 1994 as a result of female genital mutilation but her death certificate documents were later proven by the state to be forgeries. The mother-of-two, who became the cause célèbre for FGM, went on to insist that she was unaware these documents were forgeries and had new documents to support the existence of her first child.
In July, the Supreme Court rejected her final attempt in the Irish courts to prevent her deportation.
Given that she has admitted to submitting forged documentation and that she's exhausted all legal avenues in Ireland, legal sources speculated it was "unlikely" the European Court of Human Rights would oppose the Nigerian's deportation.
In March 2009, a garda detective inspector travelled to Nigeria and uncovered discrepancies in the case presented by Izevbekhai to the High Court and Supreme Court in Dublin and to the European Court of Human Rights. A Nigerian obstetrician dismissed a document, allegedly signed by him, as a forgery.
He also rejected Izevbekhai's claim that she had given birth to a daughter, Elizabeth, in February 1993 and that the girl died on 16 July 1994, following FGM.
In an affidavit lodged with the European Court in Strasbourg, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Joseph Unokanjo, who practises at Isioma Hospital in Lagos, said he could confirm that no baby called Elizabeth Izevbekhai was delivered by him at the hospital and no baby of that name has ever been treated by him.
Gardaí were also told there was no evidence of Elizabeth's death at the registry of deaths in Lagos, although a death certificate was presented to the Irish courts on behalf of Izevbekhai.
Public support for the Nigerian has waned significantly. The tab the taxpayer has picked up for Izevbekhai's case has surpassed €1m.
She has made at least 25 High Court and Supreme Court appearances. Izevbekhai's deportation order was signed in 2006.