NIGERIAN Anthony Oluseye Akinyemi has died at the US Worcester County Jail in Snow Hill Maryland in what is suspected to be suicide as he was being held at the detention centre ahead of impending deportation to Nigeria.
Me Akinyemi, 56, was in the custody of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) and was found dead in his cell on Saturday morning. He was pronounced dead at 5.23 am local time on December 21 after he was found unresponsive in his cell and efforts by facility staff and emergency personnel to revive him were unsuccessful.
An Ice spokesman said: “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 US 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.”
He noted that Mr Akinyemi had been in Ice custody for less than 24 hours before his alleged suicide. He entered Ice custody December 20, one day after he was convicted in Baltimore City Circuit Court for a sex offense and assault.
The Ice spokesman added: “Ice had previously lodged an immigration detainer against Mr Akinyemi on July 23, 2019, pursuant to his arrest for sexual abuse of a minor. Mr Akinyemi entered the US lawfully on a non-immigrant visa in December 2017 but he failed to comply with the terms of his admission.
“At the time of his death, Mr. Akinyemi was in removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts.”