I have been tracking this story wondering how it would play out. The widow of Awudu Samad Abubakar spoke at The Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan on April 20, 2010. I believe that this will shed light on the death of her husband and her subsequent lawsuit.
Here is a blurb from Ghana Web reporting the death of Awudu Samad Abubakar:
The family of a Ghanaian prince from a royal home up north, who died in the custody of Japanese Immigration, is calling for full investigations into how their son died, since they believe that he was killed by the authorities in Japan!
Additionally they have called for a repatriation of the body to Ghana as well as full compensation for the killing, if it is established that he died unlawfully.
In an interview with members of his family in Accra yesterday, March 29, 2010, they said that Awudu Samad Abubakar, popularly known as ‘Mac Barry’ was a resident of Japan, and died in the capital town of Japan; Tokyo, while under the detention of the Japanese immigration on Sunday, 21st March, 2010.
Mac Barry, who would have turned 46 in October this year, was arrested by the Immigration on his way to work from his residence in Tokyo almost a year now. He was sent to the Japanese National Airport at Tokyo last week Sunday to be deported to Ghana, but the attempted repatriation was stopped when flight officials saw how weak the victim was.
The pilot on board the Egypt Air Flight, which was to carry Mc Barry to Ghana upon realising that he was dead, rejected the request of the Japanese Immigration even when they insisted that the remains of Mac Barry should be repatriated.
The Immigration managed to forge an International Travel Certificate (ITC) to enable them transport him without the knowledge of the Ghanaian Embassy in Japan.
At present, all his travelling and other documents are in the hands of the Japanese Immigration and but for the help of the Egyptian Air Pilot and Mac Barry Japanese wife, nobody would have known about his death.
Although I am looking for additonal sources to fact check some of the information on Ghana Web, one thing is certain… people are mad, tossing blame and questioning why the family in Ghana is asking for money instead of calling for justice?!
[Via the Japan Times, Minoru Matsutani] “The Japanese wife of a Ghanaian who died last month while he was being deported for overstaying his visa called Tuesday on police and the Immigration Bureau to disclose exactly how he died.
The Chiba police are questioning about 10 immigration officers and crew of Egypt Air, Kodama quoted a Chiba prosecutor as saying. Police said March 25 the cause of death was unclear after an autopsy. Kodama said a more thorough autopsy is being performed.
Suraj’s wife is considering suing the government, but she and Kodama are holding off pending further evidence of malpractice by immigration officers. “Lawyers have no authority to collect evidence, and thus we have to wait for police to disclose evidence,” he said.
According to Mayumi Yoshida, the assistant general secretary of Asian People’s Friendship Society, she and Suraj’s wife went to the Justice Ministry, which oversees the Immigration Bureau, on March 25 to ask the ministry for details of how Suraj died. Yoshida quoted a ministry official as saying immigration officers “seem to have used a towel for (Suraj’s) mouth and a handcuff.” “That is all we know” about how Suraj died, she said.”
Suraj came to Japan on a temporary visa, which expired in 15 days, in May 1988, according to Yoshida. He was arrested on suspicion of staying illegally in September 2006, and received a deportation order in November that year. The same month, his wife registered their marriage. In February 2008, the Tokyo District Court ruled the deportation order be waived. But in March 2009, the Tokyo High Court repealed the district court’s ruling on grounds the couple was childless and the wife was economically independent, Yoshida said.
Rest the rest of the story via the Japan Times.
Note: Debito has been tracking this story and has additional commentary.