The Canadian Government says it does not grant automatic asylum to individuals, saying the stipulated conditions negate acceptance of refugee applications directly from people.
The High Commission of Canada to Nigeria stated this in a tweet on Wednesday against the backdrop of rumours making the rounds in some quarters that Obianuju Catherine Udeh (aka DJ Switch) has been granted asylum in Canada following death threat allegation by the entertainer over her involvement in #EndSARS protest.
DJ Switch had live-streamed the Lekki shooting via Instagram.
The high commission said it can only consider applications from individuals who must be referred by a designated referral organisation or a private sponsor and warned against rumours and false information online.
The speculations intensified on Monday when the DJ testified before a committee of the Canadian parliament via video conference.
Although she did not claim to be in Canada, Twitter went agog with rumours that she had been granted asylum.
Following the video, many people signed a petition asking the Canadian parliament to refuse the DJ asylum, arguing that denying Switch and her associates asylum in Canada would ensure they face the “terrorist charges” pressed against them in Nigeria.
It is not immediately clear, however, if the Canadian high commission made the statement to clarify that it had not offered DJ Switch asylum in Canada.
“In light of recent events, we have received great interest in Canadian immigration programs,” the statement read.
“Canadian Embassies, High Commissions, Consulates, Consulates General or Honorary Consulates do not accept refugee applications directly from people. Canada works with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), other designated referral organizations and private sponsors to identify individuals in need of resettlement, and who are outside their home country.
“You cannot apply directly for resettlement. You must be referred to Canada by a designated referral organization or a private sponsor. Don’t be fooled by rumours or false information online. No one can guarantee that your immigration application will be fast-tracked or approved. Only a Canadian migration officer can decide if you can come to Canada.
“All the information you need to apply to visit or immigrate to Canada is available free on the official Government of Canada website: http://cic.gc.ca.”