Chidinma Ojukwu, the alleged killer of Michael Ataga, Super TV boss, was crowned ‘Miss Cell 2022’ during the beauty pageant organised in the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison, Lagos.
The pageant was open to all female inmates, whether convicted or awaiting trial, to commemorate the 2022 International Women’s Day.
According to Francis Enobore, National Spokesperson, Nigeria Correctional Service, the reason behind the beauty pageant is to ensure that inmates are in ‘sound and good spirit’, which is a part of their reformation and rehabilitation program.
“There were various activities done to celebrate all the female inmates, as well as the correctional officers which attracted prizes, including scholarships to write exams like WAEC, NECO, JAMB and vocational training. It was teamwork that earned them the prizes, and a prize won by one person is for the team,” Rotimi Oladokun, Prison’s PRO of Lagos state command, told BusinessDay.
A number of social engagements are carried out as part of the program including recreational activities, theater work, and entertaining programmes such as pageantry, cooking competitions among others.
Some Nigerians have aired their views on the microblogging app, Twitter, 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 yet to find justice for his alleged murder.
“There is actually nothing wrong with organising activities in prison, it’s a global practice. However, what I find insensitive and totally wrong is posting the information and pictures of Chidinma Ojukwu. This will only remind the man’s family of their loss. Such insensitivity!” Emmanuel Ossai @emmanuelossai_ tweeted.
For A.I.M, @AimThamachine_, he is not happy about the activity. “All smiling and chilling as she wins Miss Cell 2022. But her murdered victim, Super TV CEO, Michael Ataga, cannot smile.”
According to Oladokun, the inmates themselves voted and winners for various activities carried out were celebrated, as it was not just the beauty pageant which Ojukwu participated in.
In comparison with the real world, when a person wins a beauty pageant, there are benefits that come with it. In some cases, they get a cash price, a car and other luxury gifts while in other cases, they are seen as a brand representative or ambassador.
For Ojukwu and several others who won across various activities, they had other benefits attached to the contests they won.