Presidency reacts as Nigerian student dies in Malaysian prison

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Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Senior Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, has expressed outrage at the death of a Nigerian PhD student, Thomas Orhions Ewansiha in Malaysia.

Ewansiha, aged 34, who was studying at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in Malaysia, reportedly died in detention, leaving behind a wife and two kids.

The Immigration Department of Malaysia, had on Friday, confirmed that the Nigerian student PhD died in its custody.

He was said to have been detained during a raid on July 4 at 10.45 pm at the Desa Aman Puri area in Kuala Lumpur.

“The subject (Ewansiha) 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 agency’s Director General, Datuk Khairul Dzaimee DaudDzaimee Daud was quoted to have said in a statement.

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

According to him, about 20 foreigners, including Ewansiha, had been detained after the July 4 raid, adding that all of them were brought to the Kuala Lumpur immigration office, before being sent to the Bukit Jalil immigration depot on July 5.

He added that Ewansiha was treated for old wounds but on Tuesday, around 12.05 midnight July 9, 2019, but the officer on duty was later informed by other detainees that the subject suddenly had a seizure while sleeping, which led to his death.

On Friday, the university announced Ewansiha’s death on its Twitter page, stating that it learnt of the tragedy on Thursday.

But expressing her worry over the incident, Dabiri-Erewa said, “I urge the Nigerian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur to open an investigation into the death of Ewansiha. We must ensure that the welfare of our countrymen in Malaysia is not compromised.”

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