Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

CA9 on CAT, Nigeria, collateral estoppel: Oyeniran v. Holder

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"Petitioner Daniel O. Oyeniran (“Oyeniran”), a citizen of Nigeria, seeks review of decisions by the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) to deny him protection under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”) and to deny his motion to reopen the case to consider new evidence.1 We hold that collateral estoppel binds the BIA to its prior determination of the facts and legal consequences regarding past incidents of government-sponsored violence against Oyeniran’s family due to his father’s activities supporting Christianity over Islam. We also conclude that the BIA abused its discretion by denying Oyeniran’s motion to reopen to consider the significant new evidence of a Nigerian arrest warrant that charges Oyeniran personally with inciting opposition to Sharia law. On remand, the BIA should consider all the new evidence, including Oyeniran’s voluntary trip to visit his sick mother; however, the BIA’s prior findings of fact