Nigerian awaiting deportation ‘commits suicide’ in US immigration custody

A Nigerian awaiting deportation from the United States allegedly killed himself in a detention facility.

Anthony Akinyemi, 56, is said to have committed suicide on December 21 in the facility of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Worcester County jail, Maryland.

Akinyemi was pronounced dead in the morning, while efforts by emergency workers to revive him proved futile.

According to ICE, the deceased, who entered the country as an immigrant in 2017, was admitted into custody a day before his death after he was convicted of a sex offence with a minor.

“ICE had previously lodged an immigration detainer against Mr. Akinyemi July 23, 2019, pursuant to his arrest for sexual abuse of a minor,” the US immigration said in a statement.

“The preliminary cause of death appears to be self-inflicted strangulation; however, the case is currently under investigation.

“Consistent with the agency’s protocols, the appropriate agencies have been notified about the death, including the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, and the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility. Additionally, ICE has notified the Nigerian consulate and Mr. Akinyemi’s next of kin.

“ICE is firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide review of this incident, as it does in all such cases. Fatalities in ICE custody, statistically, are exceedingly rare and occur at a fraction of the national average for the U.S. detained population.

“This agency’s comprehensive review will be conducted by ICE senior leadership to include Enforcement and Removal Operations, the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor.”

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