Mixed reactions have trailed the emergence of Chidinma Ojukwu, the alleged killer of Super TV CEO, as the winner of a beauty pageant organised in the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison, Lagos.
Ojukwu, a 22-year-old undergraduate of the University of Lagos, was accused of killing Michael Ataga whom she was allegedly dating, at a serviced apartment in Lagos in 2021.
She was crowned ‘Miss Cell 2022’ during the beauty pageant organised in commemoration of the 2022 International Women’s Day.
Reports of her emergence as winner of the beauty pageant sparked contrasting reactions from Nigerians who took to micro-blogging app, Twitter, to share their opinions as pictures from the event littered the internet.
While some people welcomed the development, others feel it shows insensitivity to the plight of the Ataga family who are seeking justice for the alleged murder of their son. Below are some of the reactions:
@SpokesmanBornoG said, “Standing trial for murder is associated with the highest level of trauma, enough to kill an accused, even before a court conviction. Maybe some psychologists working with the correctional centre advised that the pageant be organized for a category of inmates for psychosocial purposes.
He, however, added, “But then, choosing a beauty pageant trivializes the weight of murder, and it connotes insensitivity to the feelings of families bereaved by the murder of that CEO. They could have done something else like sport or anything more productive”.
@UgochukwuAni2 said, “Did such an occasion start this year or it’s been in existence in the country? Soon they will release her for being miss cell 2022 because she has to go home and prepare for miss cell international in the US…”
@Adeori_okin1 said, “So this is how these folks are flexing inside Kirikiri prison..after committing heinous crimes, they retire to prison to enjoy themselves and even hold beauty pageants. I can imagine how the families of Joe Ataga would feel after seeing this. Please where is the Hangman!”.
@BukoBeedrixz said, “As long as Chidinma Ojukwu is not yet convicted she has the right to participate in the KiriKiri Prison Beauty Pageant. Is just the fact”.
@Shelter_freedom said, “Seeing people applaud Chidinma Ojukwu winning in prison makes me regret times I speak for justice for a female victim cause it seems as a man you should be liable to die while criminative women should be protected. I’m sad! Humanity is HuMANity sadly. Breaking the bias indeed!
@d_LegalEagle said, “Prison Inmates are humans too. The same Nigerians calling for the revivification of the Nigerian prison system are the same people criticizing the Prison authorities for allowing Chidinma Ojukwu to participate in the beauty pageant. These activities are necessary to keep inmates sane and alive. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.”
Meanwhile, the national spokesperson, Nigeria Correctional Service, Francis Enobore, has reacted to the internet uproar on Thursday.
He noted that the pageantry is a part of the Service’s reformation and rehabilitation programme done to keep the inmates in a sound and good spirit.
“We organise a number of social engagements amongst them. Some could be recreational activities; some could be theatre work like entertainment. There are a number of programs that we introduced to get the inmates happy and put them in a good frame of mind,” Enobore told Daily Trust.