Calgary police clear border service officers in Nigerian deportee’s death

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A Canadian Border Services agent stands watch at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Tuesday, December 8, 2015. A group of doctors, lawyers, legal scholars and human rights organizations is calling on the federal government to halt the rollout of a new policy that will see border officers outfitted in defensive gear when dealing with refugees in detention. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Calgary police say Canada Border Services Agency officers are not to blame for the death of a Nigerian man during his deportation last year.

The passenger on a Calgary-Amsterdam flight had an altercation with two CBSA officers before takeoff on Aug. 7.

The plane returned to the gate and police responded to find Bolanle Alo in medical distress.

The 49-year-old was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police say an investigation found the death was not caused by the border service officers, who were acting in a reasonable and appropriate manner.

The chief medical examiner also determined Alo died of natural causes.

Alo’s relatives have demanded information in the case.

Their lawyer, Elias Munshya, has said they want to know what happened when Alo was detained, what happened in detention and what happened on the airplane before he died.

Documents from the Immigration and Refugee Board said Alo, whose first name is listed as Bolante, came to Canada in 2005 and made a refugee claim on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

He was, however, denied at every stage and ordered removed from Canada in February 2018.

The documents said he had been co-operative with the CBSA but didn’t want to return to Nigeria.

“Mr. Alo is adamant that he will face harm if he is returned to Nigeria and has consistently told officers that he will not return to Nigeria on his own and that he would only return if he is forced to,” stated the documents.

Once he was ordered removed, Nigerian High Commission officers interviewed Alo and raised concerns that he could become violent.

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