To celebrate International Women’s Day 2022, Chidinma Ojukwu, the alleged killer of SuperTV CEO, Micheal Ataga was crowned Miss Cell 2022 held at the pageant held at the Kirikiri correctional facility.
Ojukwu is currently standing trial before a Lagos High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square. You will recall that she was charged with murder, stealing, and forgery along with her sister, Chioma Egbuchu, and a certain Adedapo Quadri.
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After pictures of her participation circulated online. Social media users were quick to give their two cents on the situation.
Some users expressed shock at the development.
It's the "Miss Cell" for me, crazy things are truly happening in Nigeria😂
— Mista Don (@SadiqAdetunbi) March 10, 2022
For some, this did not come as a shock, as they admitted to the beauty of Ms. Ojukwu.
But she's a fine girl, irrespective of the allegation
— EZRA (@emeka_ezra) March 10, 2022
Others, including controversial journalist, Kemi Olunloyo stepped in to explain that these activities were part of the rehabilitation programs practiced in Prisons.
I took part in the #PHMax Olympics during my persecution case & got a medal. Lots of activities in prison. Yesterday there was a dancing competition at Kirikiri prison women’s section. Far right is Chidinma Ojukwu who confessed to killing Michael Ataga CEO of SuperTV#kemitalks𓃵 pic.twitter.com/P89Gzt4qCa
— Journalist Dr Kemi Olunloyo📡🇳🇬 (@KemiOlunloyo) March 9, 2022
This might just be one of the prison rehabilitation programs. It was done within the prison and everyone goes back to their cell at the end.
— Anatoly Dyatlov (@Dyatlov0912) March 10, 2022
Many Nigerians expressed sympathy for the family of the slain Ataga. They were concerned that the optics of the event which showed Ms. Ojukwu grinning from ear to ear would act as a trigger to the deceased’s loved ones.
In the midst of the outcry and differing opinions, it is important to remember that Nigeria practices a legal principle called Presumption of Innocence, which means that any defendant or accused person in a criminal trial is assumed to be innocent until they have been proven guilty by a court of law.
Until the High Court sitting at TBS or any Court of competent jurisdiction pronounces a guilty verdict on Chidinma, she is innocent before the eye of the law and should be entitled to participate in activities like other Nigerians.
Even in the event that she is found guilty, the prison system is aimed to be a correctional and rehabilitative facility, programs like this should be encouraged to foster a sense of community within the prison systems.
In commemoration of International Women’s Day, we should also strive to break the bias against female inmates awaiting trial.