Pardon for Chuks Nwogu
Chuks Nwogu, his wife Svetlana, and their two sons, need your help to keep their family together. By signing this petition, you will join a chorus of voices asking Governor David Paterson to pardon Chuks and free him from the threat of deportation. Read the rest of this petition to understand why this is so important! Chuks and Svetlana and their son David came to the United States from Ukraine in 1999 by winning the U.S.A. green card lottery there; they came to this country as United States legal permanent residents. Chuks had escaped from Nigeria, the land of his birth, to Ukraine following his publication of an article condemning Nigerian Muslim brutality against Nigerian Christians. His career as a journalist for the Concord Newspaper in Lagos, Nigeria, had come to a swift end after a group of Muslim radicals issued a fatwah against him, resulting in his leg being badly broken. While recovering from his leg injuries in Ukraine in 1990, Chuks registered at the Donetsk State University, and graduated in 1997 with a Bachelors Degree in Finance. He and Svetlana married in June of 1995. Once in New York, Chuks once again enrolled in school and acquired an Associate Degree in Computer Technology. He worked as an accounts receivable supervisor at the Jacob Javits Center, and in 2002, bought a house in Mount Vernon; his second son was born the same year. In January 2003, Chuks was arrested for his involvement in an Internet investment scheme, and in August 2003, pled guilty to a single count of second degree grand larceny, sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison, and required to make restitution for all amounts wrongfully acquired. Chuks has since made full restitution of all such amounts, and has been in prison for almost six years. Almost two years after his imprisonment, Chuks was charged with a deportable immigration offense on the basis of his criminal conviction. When his attorney failed to appear at the hearing associated with the proposed deportation order, the immigration judge refused to postpone the hearing and entered a deportation order. When Chuks\'second attorney filed an appeal, it was denied because the Board of Immigration Appeal claimed that it had arrived one day after the deadline! All subsequent appeals have been equally poorly handled by attorneys and have been denied without consideration of the extenuating circumstances. Chuks has filed an appeal for clemency to Governor David Paterson, and needs your help in supporting that appeal. If Chuks were to be deported, he will be completely torn away from his family, with little or no hope of ever seeing them again. He would not be able to come here, and they would not be able to go there, as none of his family members are Nigerian citizens. Chuks\' life would be in constant danger in Nigeria, as the fatwah against him is still in effect in that country. Deporting Chuks would only serve to destroy his family and put him in mortal danger. With clemency, however, Chuks can once again be a father to his sons, a husband to his wife, and a taxpaying, home-owning resident of Mount Vernon. As evidence of Chuks\' value to our community, consider what he has done while he has been in prison. In 2005, he earned a Masters Degree and a Doctorate Degree in Sacred Theology from Amherst Theological Seminary. He has completed a Professional Tax Preparation Certificate from Ashford University. In July of this year, he received a certificate from the New York State Department of Labor as a counselor, educator and tester for HIV/AIDS. While at the Otisville facility, he was employed as a teacher\'s assistant for two years, and helped many inmates gain their GED. He worked as a facilitator for various other educational, therapeutic and religious programs such as Conflict Resolution Workshops, Bible Study groups, Sociology of the Family, Public Speaking, Sign Language, and Parenting and Work Ethics workshops. In short, he has done everything humanly possible to use his prison time in a positive manner, and to foster a complete rehabilitation for the future. Your help is needed to make Chuks\'future possible -- a future with his wife and sons, and as a productive citizen of our community. Please add your voice to this petition today. The time is urgent, so please do not delay.