An inmate in Amawbia prisons, Anambra State on Monday formally enrolled into the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) for a Master Degree programme on Information Technology.
The 39-year old man, Jude Onwuzulike, a father of four, was inducted at the 7th matriculation ceremony of the institution held at the prison premises.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after occasion, the excited matriculant said he had earlier obtained his first degree and Post Graduate Diploma from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University and University of Nigeria, respectively.
“My first degree was in 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 Masters in the same discipline,” he said.
He said he had to deviate from his first degree course of study as a result of what he described as unsatisfactory manner the case that led to his imprisonment was investigated, particularly that of the SSS.
“I noticed some lapses in the way the case that brought me here was investigated which someone needs to correct. So this course I’m doing will assist me carry out an indept investigation if I’m opportuned to handle similar cases,” he said.
Describing the prison as relatively unconducive for learning, Onwuzulike who was sentenced to life imprisonment, said it would only take someone who remained focused in life to maximize the opportunity.
“Here you see all kinds of people, the uneducated, those who lack parental upbringing and those who were brought up in the moto park.
“As you are reading, they will be distracting you, including asking you to switch off the lights for them to sleep,” he added.
Speaking earlier, the representative of the Vice chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, Dr. Scholastica Ezeribe, expressed delight at the inmate’s enthusiasm towards academics.
She said the ceremony took place on the 23rd June, but added that management of the institution had to fix a special day for the inmates in view of the peculiarity of the environment they found themselves.
Ezeribe urged other inmates to cash into the free opportunity provided by the government to better their lots ahead of when they would regain freedom.
“The VC is so passionate about the program that he graciously offered it to the inmates free of charge in order to encourage them and to give them hope,” she added.
On his part, the Superintendent in charge of Awka Prison, DSP Ezenam Andrew, said the programme was one of the reformative packages of the service to make the inmates useful and productive so as not to be threats to the society after their stay in the prison.