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Why Chidinma Ojukwu was allowed to compete in beauty pageant — NCS

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THE Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) has explained why it allowed Chidinma Ojukwu and other inmates in its facilities to participate in a beauty pageant.

There were mixed reactions among Nigerians after pictures emerged on Wednesday showing Chidinma and other inmates participating in a beauty pageant.

Chidinma is standing trial over the alleged murder of Super Television Chief Executive Officer Usifo Ataga.


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She was reportedly crowned Miss Cell in the beauty pageant which held within the Kirikiri prisons on Tuesday, March 8.

However, the Lagos State Command of the NCS said the pageant was only one of several other activities organised to mark International Women’s Day (IWD).

The Command’s Spokesperson Rotimi Oladokun explained that the pageant and all the other events were open to all female inmates, whether convicted or awaiting trial.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

He noted that the event witnessed a lot of presentations by inmates, stressing that it was not an individual thing.

While stating that the event held at the female section of the correctional centre, Oladokun said it was one of the ways the NCS is trying to reform the inmates that are still in its custody.

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

“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.”

Although he said he does not know Chidinma, he explained that the suspect could have been a representative of a block.

“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 stressed.

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