Federal court | Immigration and Citizenship | Refugee Protection | Credibility
Applicant, 44 year old citizen of Nigeria, made claim for refugee protection on basis that his life was at risk from cult in Nigeria. Applicant’s father had been leader of cult until he died, and after he died applicant refused to be initiated into cult. Applicant claimed he received threats from members of cult even after he moved his family to different cities. Applicant’s claim was rejected by Refugee Protection Division (RPD) after determining that applicant was not credible or trustworthy based on his unfamiliarity with basic information about cult. Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) concurred with RPD that there was insufficient credible and trustworthy evidence to find that applicant’s allegations were truthful, and it confirmed RPD’s decision that applicant was not convention refugee or person in need of protection. Applicant applied for judicial review. Application dismissed. RAD did not raise new issue merely by reviewing and analyzing some of documentary evidence that had not been explicitly assessed by RPD as to its relevance and probative value. It was applicant who raised RPD’s failure on appeal to RAD, and it was disingenuous for him to now claim that he was denied procedural fairness when RAD addressed and rectified issue he identified. RAD was entitled to review and assess evidence afresh, and fact RAD saw some evidence differently was not basis to challenge decision on fairness grounds when no new issue was raised. RAD did not make substantive findings beyond those of RPD without providing applicant with opportunity to make submissions. Decision could not be impugned on grounds of procedural fairness. RAD reasonably exercised and fulfilled its appellate role by reviewing RPD’s findings and assessing documentation RPD overlooked as identified by applicant. Determinative issue was whether applicant provided reasonable and credible evidence that cult was pursuing him, and it was reasonable for RAD to find that applicant’s failure to have basic knowledge of cult’s practices and rituals undermined credibility of claim.
Bakare v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) (2017), 2017 CarswellNat 656, 2017 FC 267, Keith M. Boswell J. (F.C.).