The Director Malaysia’s Immigration Department, Khairul Dzaimee has reported that a Nigerian PhD student who died on Tuesday (Jul 9) while under detention at the Bukit Jalil Immigration Depot had a seizure in his sleep.
A statement released by the Director stated that the department is still awaiting the post-mortem report of Thomas Orhions Ewansiha, as well as a full medical report to identify the cause of death.
Thomas Orhions Ewansiha, who was pursuing a PhD in Management at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, was among 20 foreigners picked up in an raid on July 4 at Desa Aman Puri in Kuala Lumpur, following tipoffs from the public.
Ewansiha later produced a passport and a student pass after the arrest. However, suspicions arose about their validity as he had tried to flee away during the raid.
“The action of the subject in trying to escape created doubts on the validity of the student pass held by the subject,” he said.
Officials suspected him of violating the Immigration Act and he was held for 14 days for further investigations, Dzaimee added.
While undergoing the documentation process at the Kuala Lumpur Immigration office, he was said to have been provided with basic medical treatment by Civil Defence Force personnel as he had an old wound on his right leg.
The statement also alleged that Ewansiha did not inform Immigration officers of any sickness or other medical conditions.
The detainees in the operation – including Ewansiha – were transferred to the Bukit Jalil Immigration Depot at about noon the next day. They were treated “appropriately” in accordance to the standard operating procedure (SOP) during detention, Dzaimee said.
It is reported that at about midnight on July 9, the officer on duty was alerted by the other detainees that Ewansiha “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,” said Dzaimee.
The assistant medical officer – who arrived with the ambulance at 12.30am – examined and assisted Ewansiha, but the student was later pronounced dead.
A report was later lodged by the supervisor and officer on duty at the Bukit Jalil police station following the incident.
Limkokwing University of Creative Technology said in a statement on Friday that it had been informed of Ewansiha’s death.
The 33-year-old was pursuing a PhD in Management at the university and leaves behind a wife and two young children.