5:08 pm - Thursday February 22, 0920

CRUELTY & INJUSTICE: Nigerian PhD student, ORHIONS EWANSIHA THOMAS died in hands of Malaysia Immigration officers for refusing bribe on time-Autopsy report … Victim cried, begged for life to be spared, yet refused and mocked *Deceased, obesed made to do frog jump severally in custody, collapsed, refused medication, *Arrested with 19 others by immigration officers at the Desa Aman Puri apartment in Kepong, Selangor, mistaken for undocumented immigrant *“Thomas wanted to get his passport from his car near the restaurant but immigration officers mistook it as an attempt to escape. He was taken to the Bukit Jalil immigration depot where the authorities still refused to let him go after verifying his documents to be genuine. The immigration officers demanded a ‘bribe’ from him to be released. The money was paid but he was still detained at the Bukit Jalil depot”-Eye witness account *“The death of a Nigerian student at a detention centre was the result of a series of wrongful actions committed by the immigration department in Malaysia. Thomas was an obese person weighing about 130kg but he was forced to do jump squats during the period of his detention which caused him to collapse. He was given the wrong medication for high blood pressure. He had a valid passport and documents but immigration officers still arrested him for inspection of documents”-Lawyer Rajesh Nagarajan, Attorney for the deceased family *BY NIKE OLUWOLE/CRIME Correspondent, Malaysia

CRUELTY & INJUSTICE:

Nigerian PhD student, ORHIONS EWANSIHA THOMAS died in hands of Malaysia Immigration officers for refusing bribe on time-Autopsy report

… Victim cried, begged for life to be spared, yet refused and mocked

*Deceased, obese made to do frog jump severally in custody, collapsed, refused medication, 

*Arrested with 19 others by immigration officers at the Desa Aman Puri apartment in Kepong, Selangor, mistaken for undocumented immigrant

*“Thomas wanted to get his passport from his car near the restaurant but immigration officers mistook it as an attempt to escape. He was taken to the Bukit Jalil immigration depot where the authorities still refused to let him go after verifying his documents to be genuine. The immigration officers demanded a ‘bribe’ from him to be released. The money was paid but he was still detained at the Bukit Jalil depot”-Eye witness account

*“The death of a Nigerian student at a detention centre was the result of a series of wrongful actions committed by the immigration department in Malaysia. Thomas was an obese person weighing about 130kg but he was forced to do jump squats during the period of his detention which caused him to collapse. He was given the wrong medication for high blood pressure. He had a valid passport and documents but immigration officers still arrested him for inspection of documents”-Lawyer Rajesh Nagarajan, Attorney for the deceased family

*BY NIKE OLUWOLE/CRIME Correspondent, Malaysia

CORRUPTION is one of the biggest problems facing Malaysia Immigration and no matter how highly placed if you are a foreign immigrant in the country, your life value means nothing to these officers who drive around the country in search of foreigners to arrest just to extort money from them for their own greed. One of such Nigerians who died in the custody of these immigration officials is  Orhions Ewansiha Thomas, a PhD student at Limkokwing University taken to the Bukit Jalil immigration depot, locked up and made to do several frog jumps. They demanded money for his freedom. The victim paid the money. He was refused to let go after verifying his documents, until he died in their custody.

Latest autopsy reports form an independent body by the family now placed the blame at the feet of Malaysia Immigration officials for cruelty, injustice,  torture, humiliation of a Nigerian doctoral student. Immigration dept responsible for Nigerian student’s death, court told.

The High Court was  told that the death of a Nigerian student at a detention centre three years ago was the result of a “series of wrongful actions” committed by the immigration department.

Lawyer Rajesh Nagarajan, who appeared for Orhions Ewansiha Thomas’ family in their bid to review a coroner’s decision, said that the Nigerian’s misfortune started on July 4, 2019 when he was arrested along with 19 others by immigration officers at the Desa Aman Puri apartment in Kepong, Selangor

“His friend, who was also an inquest witness, told the court that Thomas wanted to get his passport from his car near the restaurant but immigration officers mistook it as an attempt to escape.

“He has a valid passport and documents but immigration (officers) still arrested him for ‘inspection of documents’,” Rajesh said.

He added that Thomas, who was a PhD student at Limkokwing University, was taken to the Bukit Jalil immigration depot where the authorities still refused to let him go after verifying his documents.

“His friend even said that immigration officers demanded a ‘bribe’ from Thomas so he could be released. The money was paid but he was still detained at the Bukit Jalil depot,” he said.

The immigration department reportedly said Thomas had experienced a seizure before his death on July 9, 2019 but denied any foul play.

Last year, the coroner’s court ruled that Thomas died of natural causes and ruled out the involvement of criminal elements.

The lawyer then pointed out that Thomas was an obese person weighing about 130kg but he was forced to do jump squats during the period of his detention which caused him to collapse and was also given the wrong medication for his high blood pressure.

Meanwhile, deputy public prosecutor Kamarul Aris Kamalluddin told the court that the coroner was right to rule that Thomas died of a heart attack and that no criminal elements were involved.

However, he admitted that the authorities might have been “slow” in providing the Nigerian with immediate medical assistance when Thomas fainted in his cell.

“They tried their best to give him CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) until the paramedics arrived.

“Maybe, he could have been saved if immediate assistance was provided,” Kamarul said.

Kamarul also said that the issue of purported wrongful arrest and assault raised by Thomas’ family is irrelevant.

“The coroner did not make any mention of the deceased (Thomas) being beaten in his report,” he added.

Judicial commissioner Azhar Abdul Hamid said that he will inform the family and the prosecution when the court is ready to make a ruling.

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