A former inmate of the Nigeria Correctional Service in Enugu State, Mr. Adenyi Theophilus, got two degrees while in prison.
Adenyi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Friday that he seized the opportunity offered by the prison authorities when a study center of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) was established in the prison.
“We were surprised because we didn’t believe that there could be a university inside the prison,” he said.
“The CP (Controller of Prisons Mustapha Attah ) encouraged those that had O’level results to enroll into the institution and that prisons would pay 50 per cent subsidy of the institution fee.
“It wasn’t easy to raise money from prison to pay for the balance of the school fees and also bought other reading materials.”
Adenyi from is from Nkanu East in Enugu State said he was sent to prison on awaiting trial in 2010 over a communal crisis that he knew nothing about.
He said the trauma of being in prison was enough to discourage anyone but with perseverance and hard work he was able to conquer.
His words:“My motivation was that my destiny was in my hands and nobody can make me be whatever I want to become tomorrow apart from God.
“Another motivation was the fact that my O’level result would not give me a better job when I left the prison.
“The staff of the correctional centre also helped the inmates with motivational talks most especially the psychology department.”
He said that in 2015, among the 25 inmates that registered, he was the only one that was able to complete his courses and graduated.
Adenyi said that his plan was to graduate with first class degree but he was proud to finish with 2.1 in Peace, Conflict and Strategic Studies.
“It is a record no inmates have been able to break across the prisons of the federation.
“The institution gave me an award with a sum of N50,000 and that helped me to enroll for my masters immediately that same year.
He is currently studying for a post graduate degree in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) after leaving jail.
He was discharged and acquitted on Oct. 5, 2015 after 5 years and 6 months of awaiting trial.