DAP MPs lodge police report on Ewansiha’s death, call for inquiry

DAP MPs lodge police report on Ewansiha’s death, call for inquiry

KUALA LUMPUR: Two more DAP MPs have come forward today calling for an independent inquiry to be established to investigate the death of Nigerian student, Thomas Orhions Ewansiha.

Speaking at a press conference at the Parliament, Batu Kawan MP P Kasthuri said an autopsy report alone would not be sufficient and the government should reveal the Immigration Department’s standard operating procedure (SOP) to the public in order to shed light into the student’s death.

“We have to study the existing SOP and improve it. No one from Immigration Department, whether top or bottom, is above the law,” she said.

Last week, Ewansiha, a doctorate student from Lim Kok Wing University, was found dead after a seizure while being held in custody by the Immigration Department.

He was detained on July 5 by the Immigration officials despite having valid documents.

Immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud defended Ewansiha’s detention, saying the agency followed SOP in the apprehending the Nigerian.

However, DAP MP Charles Santiago fired back at Khairul, telling the latter to explain why Ewansiha was detained despite him possessing valid documents.

The Nigerian High Commission in Malaysia and the Nigerian Diaspora Commission are also calling for the Malaysian authorities to come clean on Ewansiha’s death.

Touching on Ewansiha’s untimely demise, Kasthuri said the government’s agencies’ overzealous enforcement methods must be reviewed as it could affect Malaysia’s reputation worldwide.

“If the treatment of foreigners doesn’t improve in local immigration depots, then Malaysia will make headlines as a country with no regard for human rights and the rule of law,” she said.

Kasthuri had since lodged a police report on Ewansiha’s death.

On the same matter, Jelutong MP RSN Rayer, who was also present during the press conference, said with the report lodged, the police were now compelled to carry out an investigation.

“We hope that with this police report, there will be an actual inquest,” he said.

Rayer also pointed out that this was the first death in custody case since the Pakatan Harapan took federal power on May 9 last year.

“It reflects badly on the government. If Ewansiha died of natural ailment, then we can’t hold anyone responsible.

“But if there is foul play, the only way to find out is by holding a public inquest, which requires a police report,” he said.

By G Vinod