‘Super TV chief murder suspect Chidinma’s emergence as beauty queen not meant to promote criminality’


The Nigerian Correctional Service has denied promoting criminality among inmates through social events organised for them at its various facilities in the country.

It said it was sensitive to the plight of victims of crime and their families and would not indulge in any activity to assault or undermine their sensibilities.

The Public Relations Officer of the NCoS, Mr Francis Enobore, stated this in Abuja while reacting to the uproar that followed the participation of a murder suspect, Miss Chidinma Ojukwu, in a beauty pageant organised by the service earlier in March.

Ojukwu, who is standing trial as the prime suspect in the murder of the late Super TV Chief Executive Officer, Usifo Ataga, in 2021, emerged as the winner of the pageant held at the Kirikiri custodial centre in Lagos, as part of activities to mark the 2022 International Women’s Day.

But Enobore said the NCoS identified with the Atagas in their moment of grief and would do everything within its power to assist in the course of justice in exposing those behind their son’s murder.

“The intent of the pageant was not to glamourise or make heroes out of criminality. Aside from creating a relaxed atmosphere for inmates, the prizes do not bestow any right or privilege on any of the contestants. Moreover, the event was for internal consumption within the custodial environment and never meant to be given wide publicity,’’ the News Agency of Nigeria quoted him as saying.

Enobore further stated that the NCoS believed that controlled social engagements did not interfere with ongoing trials in court as activities within custodial centres had no bearing with the evidence needed for cases to be heard.

“For the record, psychosocial engagements have traditionally been part of the Service’s inmates treatment regimens designed to provide emotional stability needed to promote the total well-being of inmates and enhance safe custody. In 2000 to be specific, a TV station covered a musical concert for male inmates at the Ikoyi Custodial Centre. At the concert, Dr Sola Fosudo, Head, Department of Art and Music, Lagos State University, praised the performance of inmates and commended NCoS personnel for their effort.

“These events, beyond the venial of entertaining criminals and suspects, provide avenues for generating actionable intelligence to address some knotty issues under investigation. The intelligence community has severally benefitted from this service,’’ Enobore added.

Meanwhile, a mobile court operating under the Kano State Task Force Committee on Sanitation, on Saturday, fined 32 defaulters a total sum of N744, 000 for failing to observe the monthly environmental sanitation.

The presiding magistrate, Auwal Yusuf, ordered El Sadiq Bakery to pay N150, 000 each for opening two of its branches during sanitation hours.

Yusuf said the bakery operated without a waiver and in a poor environment.

He ordered the bakery to be sealed until the payment of the fine and appropriate cleanliness of the environment was observed to the satisfaction of the committee.

Also, the court fined Yankaba Market Traders’ Association the sum of N200, 000 for operating during the sanitation hours.

Other defaulters, including private and commercial motorists, were ordered to pay the remaining sum of N244, 000.

The magistrate urged residents to learn from the mistakes of the convicts and abstain from running their businesses during sanitation hours.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *