MORE than 100 people demonstrated outside the Scotland Office yesterday to demand officials act to prevent the deportation of a student leader.

Lord Elias Mensah Apetsi is scheduled for removal from the UK today after a “human error” saw his paperwork turned in out of time.

It is understood that Apetsi, a masters student at Strathclyde University, did not cause the error but was removed from his family more than a week ago and is set to be flown to his home country of Ghana at 11pm today.

The National Union of Students (NUS) said his Leave to Remain was not submitted before the deadline.

Yesterday friends and supporters gathered in Edinburgh and at the Home Office in London to urge officials to reverse the decision.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie are among high profile politicians to back the campaign, which has the Twitter hashtag #SaveLord.

Glasgow MPs Patrick Grady and Chris Stephens joined Strathclyde University students in London in support of the father, who was recently elected refugee and asylum seeker officer for NUS Scotland.

Apetsi, who is working towards a counselling qualification, has been in the UK for nine years and has a son and stepson. The Home Office said all immigration cases are treated on their individual merits in line with UK rules.

However, supporters of Apetsi say the rules should not apply in this case because the father did not cause the breach. They also point to his work within the student community, including the creation of a job enterprise society which provided work for more than 60 people, the foundation of three societies and the facilitation of seven others.

Raj Jeyraj, president-elect of Strathclyde Student’s Association, said: “Lord is here because he is seeking asylum for his safety and for the future he has been building.

“We call on the Government to back up Lord’s rights.”

Greens candidate John Finnie spoke at the Edinburgh rally and Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil has written to Home Secretary Theresa May calling for an “urgent investigation”, while MPs Alison Thewliss and Gavin Newlands have made similar representations.

Newlands told May: “Lord’s family and friends desperately want him to be returned to his home in Glasgow.

“I would strongly plead with you to intervene and allow Lord to return home to his children.”

Strathclyde student president Gary Paterson last night thanked supporters, tweeting: “2 well attended demos, many meetings with political representatives, radio, tv, and papers. We’re doing all we can.”

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