PUTRAJAYA: A Nigerian student, Thomas Orhions Ewansiha, who died while being detained at the Bukit Jalil Immigration Depot (DIBJ) on Tuesday, had a seizure in his sleep.
Immigration Department director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud in a statement today said Immigration is still waiting for the post-mortem report as well as a full medical report of the subject to identify the cause of his death.
Ewansiha was among 20 foreigners picked up in an integrated operation on July 4 at Desa Aman Puri, Kuala Lumpur following public complaints that the area was flooded with Africans.
According Khairul Dzaimee, Ewansiha attempted to flee during the operation but was captured and he later produced his passport and upon checking, he was found to be holding a valid student pass.
“The action of the subject in trying to escape created doubts on the validity of the student pass held by the subject,” he said.
The subject was suspected of committing an offence under Section 56(1) and was detained under Section 51(5) (b) of the Immigration Act and was held for 14 days for further investigations, he said.
According to Khairul Dzaimee, while the process of documentation was being carried out at Kuala Lumpur Immigration office, the subject was given basic treatment by Civil Defence Force personnel as there was an old wound on his right leg.
The subject also did not inform Immigration of any sickness, he said.
He said the subject and all detainees of the operation were sent to the Bukit Jalil depot at about 12 noon on July 5 and they were treated appropriately according to the standard operating procedure (SOP) during detention.
According to Khairul Dzaimee, at about 12.05 midnight on July 9, the officer on duty was informed by other detainees that the subject suddenly had a seizure while sleeping.
“The Special Medical Unit on duty immediately examined and treated the subject and contacted Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Hospital (HUKM) for assistance,” he said.
According to him, the assistant medical officer who arrived with HUKM ambulance at 12.30am continued examining and assisting the subject but he was later pronounced dead.
Following that, the supervisor and officer on duty lodged a report at the Bukit Jalil police station.
Meanwhile, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in a statement today said it was informed of the passing of Ewansiha, who was pursuing a PhD in Management at the university, yesterday.
According to the university, Ewansiha, 33, left a wife and two young children.
It said a request was made by a member of the Nigerian Embassy at 11.33am yesterday, to share Ewansiha’s student records in order to confirm that it was him who lost his life while detained, to verify his visa status.
“We immediately responded by making all files available to the embassy,“ the university said. — Bernama