Abuja — Nigerian PhD student and father of two, Mr Thomas Orhionsefe Ewansiha, 34, have been allegedly murdered while in the detention of the Malaysian immigration authorities according to the deceased family.
In a press statement by the family yesterday, Mrs Blessing Ewansiha, wife of the alleged murdered Doctoral student, said the victim was murdered in the custody of the Malaysian immigration authorities.
Ewansiha, who is pursuing a PhD in Management at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, was arrested on July 4, 2019 at Desa Aman Puri area of Damansara and died five days later. He was said to be in possession of a valid student visa at the time of his arrest.
The deceased is not new in Malaysia as he was said to have studied for a degree and masters degree programmes in the country.
However, a statement released by the Nigerian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur on July 12, 2019 the Commission stated that it is "engaging with Malaysian Immigration Authorities and awaiting the result of the Autopsy report. The High Commission has equally taken note of the concerns of Nigerians in Malaysia. The High Commission assures that necessary steps are being taken towards addressing the unfortunate incidence with a view for a redress and to prevent such occurrence in the future".
Lamenting on the death of her husband, Mrs Ewanisha said: "The immigration officers on raid came on private vehicles and there was nothing to identify them as immigration officers because they were not wearing uniforms. They rushed out of their various vehicles with sticks and they were chasing Nigerians, and my husband's car was parked close by so he was about rushing to his car that was when they held him and handcuffed him both hands with other victims. No sane mind at that time will believe the men are state officials but rather gangsters. Even with valid visa with him they took him away and locked him and the immigration didn't inform the school until he died in their custody.
"Mr Thomas Orhionsefe Ewansiha who was just fresh from a visit to his place of birth in Nigeria, Edo State apparently wanted to share his experiences of his visit to Nigeria and of course deliver one or two messages from loved ones to his fellow countryman also living in Malaysia.
"On arrival at the destination he called his friend who stayed in one of the apartments to meet him up at a particular restaurant downstairs as he wanted to have his dinner since he came from afar.
"While waiting for his meal, immigration officers in a commando style operation swooped in on him in what was later discovered to be a raid on the neighbourhood against black immigrants.
"Mr Orhions was shocked but remained calm knowing fully well he had all his necessary documents and permits intact. Within the commotion that took place Ori Baba was beaten, man handled and handcuffed. He was forced to seat on the floor while the immigration officers raided other apartments finally arresting over 20 black immigrants.
Ori Baba tried in vain to explain to the mean looking immigration officers that he had his valid papers on him and was indeed a responsible and insurance paying immigrant with no blemish on his record.
"He told them how he came to Malaysia to study. How he got his Bsc from Twintech International University College of Technology, Malaysia.
His Msc from Limkokwing University, Malaysia and his PhD currently at Limkokwing University, Malaysia. How he has contributed immensely to the economy of Malaysia and paid all necessary insurances to enable him come this far in Malaysia. He narrated how he started his family in Malaysia and where he stays with his wife and two children in same Malaysia. The whole narrative fell on deaf ears as he was taken into custody," the statement reads.
She further stated that, "After my husband's death, he was taken to hospital where they carried out an autopsy, they butchered him, and both sides of his neck were cut down to his chest and lower abdomen. They tore the upper and lower arms of his body without our consent. No Nigerian, no family member was there, they don't have any right to do that. It is suspicious and that is why we want to perform a fresh autopsy on him."
Quoting the Malaysia immigration's director general, Datuk Khairul Daud, she added: "an officer on duty at the Bukit Jalil immigration depot was alerted at around 12.05am on July 9 by other detainees of Thomas' seizure during his sleep, which was then followed by immediate medical treatment by a special treatment unit on duty, as well as further assistance from an ambulance that arrived at 12.30am before he was verified as dead". "He claims an autopsy is awaited to determine the cause of his death."
According to the deceased family, the narrative put up by the Malaysian Immigration Services shows a concerted effort to "conceal what really transpired and a grand effort to hide their role in the proximate cause of his death".