Nigerian High Commission releases statement on student death, asks for calm and cooperation as investigation continues

Nigeria’s High Commission has issued a media statement regarding the national, styled Orhion Evansiha Thomas, contrary to previous media spellings, confirming his death and the timeline of events leading up to his tragic passing on Tuesday, July 9 at what they call the “Bukit Jalil Deportation Camp.”

The foreign service corroborated that Thomas was a doctoral student of Management at Limkokwing University in Cyberaya, and add that he was arrested on July 5, 2019 in Desa Jaya, an area popular with foreign students.

Coconuts KL spoke with acquaintances of Thomas, and they revealed that he spent time there as there was a sizeable group of his friends in that area of Kuala Lumpur.

The High Commission goes on to add that at the time of his arrest, Thomas presented a valid student pass, with the serial number PE1328346, and that it was set to expire on September 23, 2019.

At present the Nigerian foreign mission is still engaging with authorities, and they will wait for the results of Thomas’ autopsy report. In their statement, they added:

“The High Commission has equally taken note of the concerns of Nigerians in Malaysia,” hinting at the unease that some feel is a targeted, racially-motivated profiling. For example, it is not uncommon to see landlords advertise flats with a “No Africans” discriminatory clause.

“The High Commission assures that necessary steps are being taken towards addressing this unfortunate incident with a view for a redress and to prevent such [an] occurrence in the future.”

Adding that they ask their countrymen to continue to be law-abiding, they asked them to cooperate with authorities as the investigation continued.

Thomas’s mysterious death in custody made headlines last week, after the 34-year-old reportedly had a seizure while into the second week of a 14-day remand imposed by Immigration authorities, despite the fact that he was a student with valid papers.

At the time, cellmates reported that he was experiencing a seizure in his sleep, though no official conclusions on his cause of death have been made.



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