An inmate at Awka Prisons in Anambra State, Jude Onwuzulike, has
enrolled for a Master’s degree programme in Information Technology at
the National Open University of Nigeria.
The 39-year-old man and
father of four, who is serving a life jail term, matriculated on Monday
during the seventh matriculation ceremony of the institution held at the
What motivated a prisoner on life sentence to go to school?
Speaking with Southern City News at the matriculation arena, Onwuzulike said he believed that one day, his education and knowledge would be of help to him.
said he had earlier obtained a first degree and post-graduate diploma
from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University and the University of Nigeria,
Nsukka, respectively, before his ordeal.
He said, “My first
degree 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, I’m doing a Master’s degree in the same discipline.”
said he enrolled for Information Technology due to the unsatisfactory
manner the case that led to his imprisonment was investigated.
noticed some lapses in the way the case that brought me here was
investigated, which someone needs to correct. So, this course I’m
studying will assist me to carry out forensic investigations in similar
circumstances,” he added.
Describing the prison as not ideal
for learning, Onwuzulike said it would only take someone who remained
focused in life to maximise the opportunity.
He added, “Here, you
see all kinds of people; the uneducated, those who lack parental
upbringing and those who were brought up in the motor park. They will be
distracting you, including asking you to switch off the lights for them
to sleep and stuffs like that.”
Speaking, the Vice-Chancellor of
NOUN, Prof Abdalla Adamu, who was represented by Dr Scholastica
Ezeribe, expressed delight in Onwuzulike’s zeal.
though the university’s matriculation took place on June 23, the
management had to fix a special day for the inmate in view of the
peculiarity of his case.
Adamu urged other inmates to take advantage of the free education provided by NOUN to better their lots.
said, “The VC is so passionate about the programme that he graciously
offered it to inmates free of charge in order to encourage them and to
give them hope.”
On his part, the prison superintendent, Ezenam
Andrew, said the programme was one of the reformative packages to make
the inmates useful and productive so as not to be threats to the society
after their time in prison.