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Good Samaritan pays ex-prisoner’s school fees

A Good Samaritan has paid the school fees of a former prisoner at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison, Jide Ogunsanya.

The woman, who did not want to be identified, issued a Diamond Bank cheque to clear the N50,500 fees of the 200 level student of Cooperative Management, National Open University of Nigeria.

This followed a report by PUNCH Metro on how Ogunsanya spent 26 years in prison after a fight with a mechanic in the Ebute Meta area of Lagos State.

The Ogun State indigene had said during the fight, a man who had visited him, hit a log of wood on the victim’s head and the mechanic slumped and got injured.

Ogunsanya and the man were consequently arrested and detained at the Iponri Police Station for causing grievous bodily injury.

It was learnt that a military official, who was a relative of the victim, indicated interest in the case and it was transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba.

The case reportedly changed to robbery after the Investigating Police Officer searched Ogunsanya’s house and found a knife.

The two suspects were subsequently charged with armed robbery and remanded in prison.

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After six years without trial, legal advice reportedly cleared his co-accused, while he was arraigned and sentenced to death.

The ex-prisoner said the sentence was converted to life imprisonment by a former Lagos Governor, Bola Tinubu, adding that he was pardoned by the Lagos State Government in 2017 after 26 years behind bars.

Ogunsanya had told our correspondent that a scholarship he enjoyed while in prison was withdrawn upon his release, lamenting that he had no means of paying his school fees.

After the report, a Good Samaritan contacted PUNCH Metro and offered to pay the fees.

On Thursday, she sent a dispatch rider who brought the cheque to The PUNCH headquarters at Magboro, Ogun State.

Ogunsanya, who later showed up to collect the cheque, which was issued in the name of NOUN, thanked the donor for the intervention.

He also appreciated The PUNCH for writing about his ordeal.

Asked if he had forgiven those behind his imprisonment, he said, “Jesus Christ said before we pray, we should forgive those who offended us. I have forgiven everyone. I hold on to God’s unchanging hands (quotes Hebrews 12: 1-2).

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“In prison, I met God. When you are in a problem and you close your eyes and you cannot see anybody, you will have no other option but to hold unto God. After I came out of prison, I did not deviate; I trusted God.”

He said he learnt how to make paints after his release from prison, adding that if he could get jobs, he would not be dependent on anyone for means of livelihood.

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