Protests As Nigerian PhD Student Thomas Ewansiha Dies In Custody Of Malaysian Immigration
The Nigerian community in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, have taken to the Nigerian embassy in the country to protest the death of Thomas Ewansiha, a Nigerian PhD student at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in Selangor, Malaysia.
According to Singaporean newspaper, The Straits Times, Ewansiha died on Wednesday in detention of the Malaysian immigration authorities.
The deceased, who was said to be pursuing a doctorate degree in management at the university, was arrested and detained for allegedly attempting to flee the immigration authorities during a raid on July 4.
“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,” the Immigration Department Director-Feneral, Khairul Dzaimee Daud, had said in a statement on Friday.
“The subject’s action in fleeing had raised doubts about the authenticity of the student pass that was owned by the subject,” he said.
The newspaper reported that despite providing a valid student pass, Ewansiha, a husband and father of two children, was kept in custody by the immigration authorities for 14 days.
33-year-old Ewansiha was said to have suffered seizure in custody and was pronounced dead by medical personnel from Universiti Kebangsaan Hospital.
“At around 12.05am on July 9, the officers on duty were told by the other detainees that the subject had had a seizure in his sleep,” the newspaper quoted Daud as saying, adding that, “Immediate aid and medical checks were conducted and the hospital was contacted to assist as well.”
Speaking on the sad incident, the Limkokwing University said they learnt of Ewansiha’s death on Thursday.
“He was an inspired young man. We offer our condolences to his family and many close friends,” the university was quoted as saying.
The incident prompted Nigerians in the country’s capital to picket the Nigerian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.
The protesters were said to have accused the High Commission of not doing enough to protect Nigerians in the country.
The Malaysia police, on Friday, said they will monitor activities of the protesters at the Nigerian embassy to forestall a breakdown of law and order.
“KL police will monitor the situation and increase security by performing more patrols in the area,” said city police chief Mazlan Lazim in a statement.
“The police will not hesitate to take action in preserving the peace.,” he said.