A 39-year-old prison inmate of Awka Prison, Anambra State, on Monday, formally enrolled for Master degree at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
The inmate, Jude Onwuzulike, who is a father of four, was inducted at the prison premises during the 7th matriculation ceremony of the institution held at the prison.
Onwuzulike, who is serving a life imprisonment term and who holds First degree and Post Graduate Diploma from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University and University of Nigeria (UNN), respectively, enrolled for a Master Degree programme on Information Technology.
The excited Onwuzulike said his choice of Information Technology was as a result of the lapses he observed in the manner the case that led to his imprisonment was investigated.
He said, “My First degree was in was in Accounting in 2005, while the second was in Mathematics. When I came here, I did a Post Graduate Diploma in Information Technology and now Masters in the same discipline.
“I noticed some lapses in the way the case that brought me here was investigated which someone needs to be corrected. So this course I’m doing will assist me carry out an in-depth investigation if I’m opportune to handle similar cases.”
He noted that the prison was relatively not conducive for learning, but could only take someone who remained focused in life to maximize the opportunity.
He said, “Here you see all kinds of people, the uneducated, those who lack parental upbringing and those who were brought up in the motor park. As you are reading, they will be distracting you, including asking you to switch off the lights for them to sleep.”
Earlier, Dr. Scholastica Ezeribe who represented the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, expressed delight at the inmate’s enthusiasm towards academics.
She noted that the institution held its matriculation on June 23, but management had to fix a special day for the inmates in view of the peculiarity of the environment they found themselves.
Ezeribe charged other inmates to utilize free opportunity provided by the government to better their lots ahead of when they would regain freedom.
She said, “The VC is so passionate about the program that he graciously offered it to the inmates free of charge in order to encourage them and to give them hope.”
Also speaking, the Superintendent in charge of Awka Prison, DSP Ezenam Andrew, said the programme was one of the reformative packages of the service to make the inmates useful and productive so as not to be threats to the society when they leave the prison.