"I was tired of walking." (19659001) "I was tired of walking around that day … so I tried to force my way in, then he pushed me, and I fell down flat on the floor, "Ugokwe told CNN.
"I started walking because I was tired, I really needed the job because I needed to eat."
Humiliated, Ugokwe went to a nearby lagoon and jumped in.
After being rescued by passing fishermen, Ugokwe says he's handed over to police officers who arrested him and put him in jail.
Attempting suicide is a criminal offense in Nigeria, Section 327 of the Criminal Code Act. A holdover from when Nigeria was a British colony, the law was abolished in Britain under the Suicide Act of 1
Ugokwe says he's speaking about his attempt to take his own life despite stigma around the subject in Nigeria
When he woke up on the fisherman's boat, Ugokwe said he was angry.
Ugokwe says he was unaware that he attempted suicide what a crime in Nigeria.
"I did not steal. What did I do wrong? It's my life, not (the) government's life, "he said.
Shortly after his arrest in February, Ugokwe appeared before he had committed an offense. His case was postponed and he was transferred to another facility on Lagos Island.
Imanuella Ojeah, a criminal lawyer and a member of the Elevation Church in Lagos, whose volunteer prison unit makes weekly trips to local prisons.
"I remember he was tired of life." He told me … I am not mad. I just depressed and have not got any money to eat, "Ojeah told CNN.
Sabo Magistrates Court, April 30, 2017. They were asked to leave their guardian if they were released.
Ojeah found someone from the Elevation Church who agreed to look after Ugokwe and the Magistrate dismissed the case.
Cheluchi Onyemelukwe who is investigating the health and safety issues in the country.
"What happens in the legal process is the arrest you, you put in a cell, and then charge the matter to court and you are arraigned before a magistrate who declines it appears to have been committed," she says ,
As in Ugokwe's case, the survivor is now remanded to wait for a trial date. If found guilty, they may be imprisoned for a maximum of one year.
Onyemelukwe says it suits the process of arresting and taking them through a legal process that is cruel.
"I believe it does not reflect who we are as Nigerians … it is inhumane and I know that we can do better than that." I think it is probably the worst in a sort of situation, "she said.
"People who are in a cell right after … why do not they have a good time?"
Ugokwe says he's contemplating suicide again while in jail because of the conditions he's held in.
"The worst part of it is that they're putting me in prison crazy people. "
In jail, Ugokwe, he said:" What are you talking about? "
"At first, when they brought the pills to me, I refused … there was nothing wrong with me, but then I was beaten and forced to take the pills."
"Those pills had terrible effects on me
A spokesman for the Lagos division of the Nigerian Prison Service, which operates prisons in the country, denied Ugokwe's allegations.
"Allegations and incidents of force- Lagos Command, "Rotimi Oladokun told CNN in an emailed statement.
" The Controller of Prisons, Lagos Command has no tolerance for
The Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, told CNN that although attempted suicide is criminalized in the country, the state does not recommend that anyone should be locked up.
Suicide Rates are usually underreported in Nigeria because of the stigma associated with it. However, the World Health Organization estimates that there are 9.5 suicides per every 100,000 people in the country.
African countries where suicide is illegal ” class=”media__image” src=”http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181214150423-africa-suicide-graphics-large-169.jpg”/>