PhD behind bars: Nigeria’s Kirikiri Prison gets its first candidates

Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison — Photo:

Two inmates of Nigeria’s Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison in Lagos have enrolled for doctorate degrees at the National Open University (NOUN), which is Nigeria’s foremost Open and Distance Learning institution.

Tunwashe Kabiru and Oladipupo Moshood successfully enrolled for Doctorate Degrees in Business Administration and Peace and Conflict Resolution reports the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The two doctorate candidates were announced during a ceremony at the prison to present some inmates including the two with their master’s degrees.

The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS), Ja’afaru Ahmed said at the ceremony that “420 inmates were currently studying in NOUN and 10 are in 400 level.”

He added that the program was created to help reform the prisoners while creating an enabling environment for them through education.

NOUN Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abdalla Adamu who presented the inmates with their degrees said the courses taken by prisoners are free from first degree to Ph.D. levels.

“We focus our attention on making prisoner scholars; all the courses taken by inmates are free, from first degree to Ph.D. level. Hope should never be lost even when you are a prisoner, it is when you are educated that you will get your absolute freedom,” he is quoted by NAN.

He appealed to the Nigeria Prisons Service to allow them to provide necessary equipment for inmates at its prisons study centers.

The prison got its first master’s degree awardee in 2015 and since then, many inmates have achieved that feat.

This article by Ismail Akwei was first published on

Published by Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei is an international journalist, digital media and communications professional, editor, writer, arts, culture and tourism advocate, human rights activist, pan-Africanist, tech enthusiast and history buff. He has worked with multinational media companies across Africa and has over a decade’s experience in journalism.

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