Nigerian PhD student dies in Malaysian immigration custody

Another Nigerian PhD student has reportedly died in the Malaysian immigration custody in controversial circumstances after he was wrongfully arrested, CNA has reported.

Thomas Ewansiha was said to be a PhD student at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in Selangor, Malaysia. The Malaysian immigration authorities have confirmed his death.

The in memoriam message tweeted by Limkokwing University of Creative Technology earlier today. — Picture via Twitter/LimKokWing_MY

It was gathered that Ewansiha was pursuing a doctorate degree in management at the private university and married with two children.

Director-General of the Malaysian immigration said the deceased was among 20 foreigners picked up during a raid at Desa Aman Puri in Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia, on July 4.

According to reports from the Asian country, Immigration officers had stormed apartments in Desa Aman Puri following public complaints regarding the alleged influx of Nigerians and other African nationals in the area.

Image result for Nigerian high commission in Kuala Lumpur

Daud said several Africans, including the deceased, had attempted to flee and refused to cooperate with the officers who were conducting checks during the raid.

“The subject also fled but was successfully arrested by operation officers, the subject then presented his passport and checks showed that subject had a student pass that was still valid,” he said.

“The subject’s action in fleeing had raised doubts about the authenticity of the student pass that was owned by the subject.”

It was learnt that Ewansiha was detained for 14 days at the Bukit Jalil depot for the officers to “verify the authenticity of his student passport”.

He said all the detainees were treated well and according to standard operating procedures.

“During the documentation process, the subject was given basic treatment by the civil defence department Malaysia as there were old wounds on the right calf of the subject and the subject had informed that he was not suffering any illness,” he said.

“At the time of the incident around 12.05 midnight July 9, 2019, the officer on duty was informed by other detainees that the subject suddenly had a seizure while sleeping.”

He said the special treatment unit that was on duty had immediately carried out checks and treatment on Ewansiha, and that the Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) was contacted for immediate assistance when he fell ill.

General view of Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in Cyberjaya July 12, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May

According to him, the HUKM ambulance arrived together with an assistant medical officer at 12.30am and had continued to carry out checks and provided medical aid, but Ewansiha was later pronounced dead.

He said the supervising officer and the officer on duty then went to the Bukit Jalil police station to lodge a report.

“The Immigration is currently still waiting for the full medical report on the subject and the full autopsy report to identify the cause of death,” he said.

His death had reportedly led to a protest on Thursday. Some Nigerians in the Asian country were said to have stormed the Nigerian high commission in Kuala Lumpur, accusing the commission of not taking responsibility for the welfare of their countrymen.

In April 2017, Premium Times reported that a Nigerian PhD student Adedeji Liadi at the International Islamic University, Malaysia, IIUM, died.

Image result for Nigerian high commission in Kuala Lumpur

He was a lecturer at the Department of Economics, National Open University Nigeria (NOUN), Lagos, before his death.

In March 2018, another Nigerian student Uju Pious Ejikeonye, a student of the City University in Malaysia, died after jumping from the 13th floor of an apartment at Desa Aman Puri, Gombak, Kuala Lumpur.


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