More than 23,000 people have signed a petition against the deportation of a lesbian asylum seeker to Nigeria who says that her girlfriend was murdered in the country and fears the same fate.

Campaigners warn Apata Adejumoke, 46, is at risk of homophobic persecution if returned to the country which in January strengthened its laws against same-sex sexual activity.

The group Movement for Justice (MFJ) said Adejumoke was subject to homophobic torture, persecution, and brutal arrest in Nigeria.

In a YouTube video for MFJ, Adejumoke said: “I fled Nigeria to seek asylum in the UK ten years ago in 2004, after I was exposed as a gay woman. I was arrested by the Nigerian police; I paid them a bribe to avoid jail.

“A death sentence of stoning was passed on me by the sharia court.  My girlfriend of over 20 years was brutally murdered by the vigilantes in 2012. I’m still struggling to get protection in the UK… returning to Nigeria is not an option for me because, as well as a death sentencing hanging over me, I will face 14 years in prison due to the anti-gay law that was passed by the Nigerian Government in January 2014.”

Adejumoke added: “And also I want to remain in the UK in order to contribute positively to the society and support my girlfriend who I am now engaged to.”

Human rights groups, MPs and lawyers have frequently documented alleged cases of the Home Office deporting LGBT asylum seekers back to countries such as Nigeria where they face violence.

The claims have always been denied by the Home Office.

Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Barker called on the government to condemn and stop the “shockingly degrading” treatment of LGBT asylum seekers by Home Office caseworkers, following publication of a leaked report in February.

The report showed LGBT asylum seekers continue to face abusive, degrading “interrogations” about their sex lives.