Will this be the last such episode? Judging by recent policy pronouncements, I expected that the illegal might just be given coffee and money instead

A Nigerian man who was pulled off a fence at Sydney’s Villawood detention centre overnight will be deported tomorrow, just two days before he was due to marry an Australian woman. The man climbed onto the fence on Tuesday afternoon to protest against the Immigration Department’s plans to send him home. He was given blankets, food and water before police were called to the centre about midnight last night.

Detainees threw rocks at police and security staff, who talked the Nigerian down while standing on a cherry picker around 2:00am (AEST).

The Fire Brigade also sent two crews to put out two small blazes that were lit inside the centre during the commotion.

Ian Rintoul, from the Refugee Action Coalition, says it is a particularly sad case because the man had planned to get married this Sunday. “A woman, Marie, knew him before he arrived in Australia apparently but has been visiting since he arrived in May last year,” he said. “It was very well known that they were to be married on Sunday and yet at the moment, he’s still scheduled to be removed on Friday.”

Immigration Department spokesman Sandi Logan says tomorrow’s deportation will put an end to a long-standing case for the man. “We understand he may have been upset; however, he’s exhausted every avenue of appeal to remain in Australia,” he said. “It’s only right – and I think the community would expect it – that people who have no right to remain in Australia should be returned.”