Even in jail, Joy Ugwu Nnenne, the reigning Asaigbo pageant queen,
still radiates and commands the aura and influence of ‘royalty’. The
poster girl that she is has become a star among fellow inmates at the
Kirikiri Prison, Lagos, where she has been remanded by a magistrate
court over alleged fraud.
The prisoners referred to her as
“Queen”, due to the large number of visitors she played host to daily,
while other times she is called “MMM”, an allusion to the charge that
brought her to prison.
Saturday Sun on June 17, 2017, reported the case of Joy, the current
beauty queen of Asaigbo pageantry, who is on remand in Kirikiri prison
for allegedly fleecing Jonathan Nwogu, Anita Oby and others of
She was alleged to have resorted to hide-and-seek
tactics after failing to secure a visa for Nwogu, after the latter
reportedly paid a million naira to her. She is also accused of
defrauding Oby of N2 million through a ponzi scheme called “Me and You”
purportedly floated by the former.
The incarcerated beauty queen
gave her side of the story in an exclusive interview when Saturday Sun
visited her inside the Kirikiri female prison on Wednesday June 21.
Debunking the allegations against her as false, she claimed her
traducers, counting on her propensity to protect her social image, were
out to intimidate her to quietly pay them and settle the matter.
her innocence, she emphasised she also lost money to the ponzi scheme,
and that is the reason she is emboldened to exercise her civil right in
opting for the court after spending three days in the cell at the State
Crime Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba.
“I didn’t create the
‘Me and You scheme’, I was just a participant like her (Oby),” she
insisted. “Do I look like someone who can do so, when I have not
finished studying my Accounting?”
She went on:
they told me to pay up, I was reluctant because I didn’t see any crime
in the scheme. I can only be guilty if I created the scheme, which I
didn’t. I told them that I could only pay back if they try to get the
person I paid to, one Emmanuel Madu. I paid him two million naira. I
showed them the transfer record, it is a recycled process.”
She pointed out the inconsistency in the charges against her at the court: “When
I got to court, I was arraigned for N2m while I was arrested for a
charge of N7m. I intend to battle this when I regain my freedom.”
the visa fraud charge, her accuser, Nwogu had told Saturday Sun: “The
girl duped me one million naira and the evidence is there…What baffled
me was the way she took the matter. It was quite obvious that she
Joy Ugwu rebutted this as outright lie. On the day I
was arrested, I confronted him, asking if he knew me before, but he
didn’t. So, how did we do visa business? They were all participants in
the Ponzi scheme. He happened to be on the losing side. Oby had vowed
that she was going to deal with me if I don’t pay up because she is
connected to the high and mighty.”
She went further: “They said
something about the money in my account. The money belongs to people and
I have paid them back. I don’t have any money to pay anybody.”
Queen among inmates
incarcerated did not diminish her. She is still radiant and has even
acquired some popularity among the inmates. To both wardress and
inmates, she is “Queen”––due to the number of visitors she has daily––
or “MMM”, in reference to the circumstances that brought her into the
prison. As she walked away from the reporter, a group of friends crowded
around her demanding to know what news she brought from her visitation.
“She is a nice girl. I don’t think anybody has any complaint about her,” an anonymous inmate told Saturday Sun.
Why we won’t dethrone her
Saturday Sun also contacted Mike Akubueze, the organiser of Asaigbo pageantry, for his view on the development.
to him, as long as she didn’t commit any crime in the name of the
pageantry, Joy Nnenne Ugwu would still be paraded as their queen.
According to him:
she did was her personal business. She didn’t commit crime with
Asaigbo. We are not involved with anything she does with her personal
life. She is 18 years. We don’t monitor our queens.”
her accusers are capitalising on her social status to intimidate her, he
said: “Joy didn’t commit any crime. Everybody did MMM, including even
me. So, she is entitled to do a personal business.”
“We won’t dethrone her. Until the case is concluded, she is still
Asaigbo queen. Even after that, we would undertake our own
It is expected that Joy Ugwu will be freed
soon since the delay of her bail was due to the absence of the
magistrate in charge of her case, who went on a casual leave.