A ex-convict has told a horrible tale of her experience when she was placed behind the bars of Kirikiri Prisons in Apapa, Lagos State for one year following a case of fraud preferred against her.
Miss Jennifer Ngozi Mberekpe, from Imo State said the experience is not the sort that she would forget in a jiffy as the memory still haunts her.
Narrating the harrowing experience during a chat with Vanguard, stated that although she has since regained her freedom,, she would always ‘shudder and a sigh’ at the thoughts of it.
According to her, she was handed down to a woman known as the prison mother who gave her a warm bath as soon as she was brought to the prison.
She further narrated that there were a handful of unholy practices which are better imagined that experienced.
She said: “The first day I entered the prison, the authorities there were contemplating on which of the cells they would put me. At last, they took me to a particular cell where they handed me over to a cellmate called my mother who gave me a “warm bath” as a way of welcoming me to the cell, and later she took me through the prison routine.”
Mberekpe revealed that her case was struck out by the trial judge 12 days after the Founder and General Overseer of Word and Spirit Assembly Church, Satellite Town, Pastor. Chris Ekeh visited the prison on the Friday, July 17, 2015 to celebrate his 40th birthday with the inmates.
“While he was preaching to us, the man of God said, ‘though they may have forsaken you, your family members, friends an even church members, there is one thing that will follow you. It is the goodness and mercy of The Lord,” Mberekpe revealed.
The pastor recently gave her a cheque of N200,000 Pastor Ekeh in fulfilment of the promise he made that he would give the stipulated sum as financial assistance to any inmate that would be released after his visit to the prison.
Further into her narration, she said: “When they took me to the prison, I thought it was the end of the road for me. I left everything in the hands of God. I prepared my mind to accept the worst while in prison. I was not scared, but it is not an experience one would wish his or her enemies. It is only those inmates who have no focus that would want to go back there.
“While I was in prison, I never had any good news. It was one sad story or the other. But what kept me going was the fact that I believed I would overcome my travails someday. I was never discouraged.
“Even when I called my relations, friends and church members nobody came to my rescue. But despite my predicaments, I still had peace within me and I strongly believed that someday, I would regain my freedom.”
She however, made a more shocking disclosure when she revealed how lesbianism and other ugly acts thrive in the prison.
Describing it as ‘Gate of hell, or better still, a thin line between death and life,’ Mberekpe continued: “I discovered some unholy practices such as lesbianism thriving in prison. But I did not do it because from the moment I was ushered into the place, my cell mates knew I was a Christian and did not indulge in such unholy practice.
“All thanks to the former Deputy Controller of Prisons,DCP, who dealt with the evil. She stood up against it and ensured that lesbianism was drastically reduced in the prison.”
Mberekpe was convicted in 2014 after she was linked with the missing money which was invested by clients in her former company which was into stock, shares and private placements.
According to her, the company usually collected funds from individuals, companies or associations and invest them into unknown products but in 2014, a large sum of N12.5 million was invested in a business, but following the crisis in the stock exchange market then, the fund was diverted on the instruction of their client.
One of the investors, whose share was N1 million was not satisfied with the development, as he decided to take a legal action against her because she was the person that brought him into the business.
She said: “It was a business transaction that took me to the prison. It wasn’t as if I embezzled the funds or it was lost due to bad business. But the client involved used his discretion to divert the funds which was supposed to be used to execute the business.”
“The man of God visited the prison on the 17th of July, and I regained my freedom on the 29th of July. All along, no lawyer has represented me in court, but the last time I appeared in court, after Pastor Chris’s visit to the prison, a lawyer surfaced in court on my behalf, courtesy of my father’s friend who paid him to seek my release in court.”