ASABA/Nigeria: Aide to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state, Ossai Ovie Success, on Tuesday paid for the release of two prisoners who have spent months in Ogwashi correctional centre. On conviction, the court gave them option of fine but they could not pay, hence they were sent to Ogwashi medium security prison.
The two prisoners whose fines Ossai paid are Ikechukwu Ala from Imo state but resident in Ogwashi Uku in Aniocha south local government area while the other one is Emmanuel Jonah, an indigene of Onicha Ukwuani in Ndokwa West local government are of Delta state.
Ikechukwu was accused of conspiracy and breaking through to steal in Ogwashi Uku. He was sentenced to prison in September 2019 and was expected to spend 18 months in the correctional centre. He had only spent five months when Ossai visited the prison, paid his court fines and set him free.
The other, Emmanuel Jonah, was convicted of stealing female pants for yahoo boys in Asaba. A yahoo boy in Asaba gave him N200,000 to steal female pants for him but while in the process of stealing the pants, luck ran against him and he was arrested with the pants in his possession. That was in November 2019.
Upon his arrest, the yahoo boy was also arrested but denied ever sending him to steal pants for him. The yahoo boy was sentenced but had option of paying fine of N200,000. He called his friend to the court, paid the fine and was let go. But he abandoned Emmanuel in the hands of the police and the court.
Emmanuel said he cried having no one to rescue nor pay his fine for him. Consequently, he was sentenced to prison from November 2019. He had only an aged grandmother in the village, having lost his father and mother. He came to Asaba to find means of living but yahoo boys found him.
However, as Ossai was celebrating his birthday, he felt it was nice to use the period to put smiles on the faces of prisoners. He decided to go to Ogwashi Uku prison and demand for those whose sentence was due to their inability to pay their fines.
He was giving the two names by the deputy controller of prisons in Ogwashi Uku. And the process of release began from Friday, January 31 to Tuesday February 4, 2020.
In an interview after the release, Ossai said: “Life is for the living. When I clocked 28 this year, I thought of the freedom I have as a person. I also thought of people in the prison. Each time I pray every day, I always remember those in prison for their freedom.
“Looking at what God has done for me. I decided to do something for people. I said let me save a soul, let me save people’s lives so that they could be free as I am. I think of the pain they pass through without seeing people in society. I just wanted to do something for humanity. That was what led me to carry out this decision.”
He said crime will end up putting people in problems they may not be able to solve. He added that “Whether you enjoy the money temporarily or not, you will end up suffering. Crime is not the way out. The way out is to be in Christ and live a free life.
“Over the social media I have been preaching the word that money is not happiness. Sometimes, some people think money is happiness. That is why they go into crime. But at the end, you find out that they are not really happy.
“Now, people are in prison because of money. Their freedom has been seized. My message to them is to embrace Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the only way. You can’t make any real success in life without Jesus Christ.
“You can’t enjoy peace without Jesus Christ in your life. They should follow Christ and look for something to do so that they could add value to society. Crime is not the way of life. Happiness comes from within, not actually the money. They shouldn’t go after money but after happiness.”
Ossai, who also paid for the release of three prisoners from same Ogwashi Uku prison in 2017, further said: “There is no day I will pray without remembering people in prison. We have a lot to do as Nigerians.
“If we all put our hands together to assist those in prison, Delta and Nigeria will be better for us. It does not take much to save a life. Instead of wasting money clubbing, we can invest it in people’s lives. It does not matter the amount, all of us need to save a soul.”