KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz (HCTM) confirmed today that no physical injuries were discovered on the body of the late Nigerian student Thomas Orhions Ewansiha who died while in immigration custody.
In a two-page statement, the hospital’s management said a post-mortem was conducted on Thomas after authorities brought him in for an autopsy at 5am on July 9.
“The autopsy was conducted at 9am the same day by HCTM’s Forensics Department. Based on precise forensics checks, experts have confirmed and concluded that no signs of physical injuries were found on the deceased.
“A full autopsy report will be made available when all lab test results including toxicology are obtained to determine the cause of death,” it said.
HCTM also confirmed that it received an emergency call from the Emergency Call Centre around 12.08am on July 9 informing the nature of the emergency.
“We were informed of an individual in custody suffering from convulsions and was in an unconscious state.
“An ambulance team was subsequently dispatched from the hospital at 12.10am and arrived at the Immigration Department lock up in Bukit Jalil at 12.30am,” it added.
The hospital’s statement then said the individual in question was discovered to be lifeless shortly after the paramedics arrived at the location.
HCTM’s statement today matched a previous statement by the Immigration Department in which the latter said other detainees had around midnight on July 9 alerted the officer on duty of Thomas suffering a seizure while asleep.
The statement added that immediate medical attention was given and an ambulance that arrived at 12.30am had also provided further assistance before Thomas was pronounced dead.
Earlier today Nigerian news outlet, PUNCH, also reported that Thomas’s widow claimed her husband was a victim of “murder”, though there were no actual quotes provided to substantiate her remark.
She also claimed a post-mortem was performed on Thomas without his family’s consent.
She also alleged that the Immigration Department’s account of events showed “a concerted effort to conceal what really transpired and a grand effort to hide their role in the proximate cause of his death.”
Following his death in custody, the Immigration Department released a two-page statement to explain the situation surrounding his arrest, detention and death.
On July 4, Thomas was detained after he attempted to flee during the immigration raid and was subsequently detained for 14 days for further checks.
This was despite initial checks of Thomas’ papers showing he had a valid student pass, as the department said his actions in fleeing raised doubts on the authenticity of his student pass.
The department also said Thomas had not declared any illnesses at the start of his detention and was treated well throughout his detention at the Bukit Jalil immigration depot from July 5.