KUALA LUMPUR: The Nigerian, whose death while in custody led to a protest here, was arrested and detained according to procedure, says Immigration director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud.
He said Thomas Orhions Ewansiha, 34, was picked up on July 4 following raids on apartments in Desa Aman Puri here.
He explained that the raids were conducted following complaints by residents about drugs, prostitution and public intoxication in the area.
“At that time, a group of foreigners had tried to run away. The person in question (Ewansiha) had also fled but was successfully detained by our officers,” he said in a statement yesterday.
While his papers were deemed valid, he said the officers were suspicious due to his actions at the time.
Ewansiha was detained and transferred to the Bukit Jalil depot.
Khairul Dzaimee said Ewansiha did not disclose any pre-existing medical condition to the officers.
However, medical treatment was administrated to him for an old thigh injury.
“At 12.05am on July 9, other detainees told the officers on duty that the subject had a seizure in his sleep. Immediate medical aid was given and the hospital was contacted to assist as well.
“An ambulance from HUKM (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre) as well as an assistant medical officer arrived at 12.30am and attempted to help the subject. However, he was pronounced dead,” he said.
The department, he said, was still waiting for a complete medical report and the cause of death.
City police chief Comm Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim has called for calm among after a protest was held on Thursday morning at the Nigerian High Commission.
The situation escalated when the protesters were not allowed into the office there.
“However, they dispersed when told to do so by the police,” he said
Meanwhile, a Wisma Putra spokesman said that there was no protest outside the Malaysian High Commission in Nigeria on the matter.