IWD 2022: Alleged Murder Suspect, Chidinma emerges Miss Cell at Kiri-Kiri Correctional Centre; Service explains why Chidinma, others competed in beauty pageant

Authorities of the Nigerian Correctional Service Kirikiri, have explained that 300-level Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos, UNILAG Chidinma Ojukwu currently facing trial for alleged murder, and other inmates at its facilities were allowed to participate in a beauty pageant as part of International Women’s Day (IWD) celebration .

Ojukwu:was alleged to have murdered the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Usifo Ataga June 21, 2021, and is standing trial for the offence at the Lagos High Court, sitting at Tafar Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos.

The beauty pageant was held within the Kirikiri prisons on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 and Chidinma was said to have been crowned  Miss Cell 2022. 

Responding to questions as to why non convicts such as Miss Ojukwu would be allowed to participate in the event, the Lagos State Command of the Correctional Centre said the pageant was only one of several other activities organised to mark International Women’s Day (IWD).

The Command’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Rotimi Oladokun said that the pageant and all the other events were open to all female inmates, whether convicted or awaiting trial.

Oladokun, a Superintendent, said: “I haven’t seen the pictures you are talking about. But in line with International Women’s Day, the female custodial facilities commemorated International Women’s Day with inmates, various inmates without distinction or discrimination against anybody – an inmate is an inmate. 

“All the inmates in different cell blocks presented various programmes. Some did theatre presentations, others drama, some poetry, some beauty pageant, some drawings, paintings, comedy. So, various blocks won. It was just like an inter-cell block event. 

“There were lots of presentations. It was not an individual thing. It was just the facility’s way of trying to reform the inmates, those still in custody.

“So, that’s why they commemorated International Women’s Day, that’s why it was done in the female facility, not the male’s.”

“The particular inmate, I don’t know her name. There were various winners. 

“The costumes were made by the inmates in the facility and some of the winners got sponsorship to pay for their UME forms, NECO, WASSCE and higher education. 

“Some donated libraries to us, apart from some other stationery, and welfare resources. It was not an individual event, so the prizes were collective.”

“There were representatives for each block, so maybe the inmate you are referring to was one of such representatives, but it was not an individual event, it was a collective one commemorating International Women’s Day,” Oladokun added.

IWD is celebrated annually on March 8, to commemorate the social, political and economic achievements of women.

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