Ochanya: Rapist Lecturer Arrested, FIDA Vow to Get Justice

Andrew Ogbuja, alleged Rapist Lecturer, who alongside his son, Victor, repeatedly sexually molested 13-year-old Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje till she died of complications of Vesico Vagina Fistula (VVF) have been rearrested by Police in Makurdi as Benue Women Lawyers vow to get justice for Late Ochanya.

The news of the arrest was broken a short while ago by the President of the Benue State Chapter of International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Professor Magdalene Dura who had earlier sent a petition to the Commissioner of Police, Okon Etim Ene, on the culpability of both Father and Son in the death of Ochanya who passed away on Wednesday, October 17.

The police are however still looking for the son, Victor, who is said to be a final year student of Animal Husbandry at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.

In an earlier statement signed by  Professor Dura and made available to the Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria (NRHJN), the group had called for the immediate re-arrest of the two accused persons who reportedly jumped bail, to face criminal charges in court.

Victor Ogbuja

In its Petition to the CP, the group wants the suspects, Andrew Ogbuja, Lecturer (father) and Victor Inalegwu Ogbuja, Undergraduate (son). to be arrested and charged “for the offences of Criminal Conspiracy and Culpable Homicide”.

According to the statement, “Benue FIDA is committed to getting Justice for Ochanya through legal process”.

Late Ochanya was reportedly sexually assaulted and molested for over two years by Andrew and Victor while she was in their custody as a relation, who had no family support having been born to a widow and had no father’s presence till death.

However, pending the action of the Benue State Police Commissioner, the remains of little Ochanya  has been deposited at the morgue of the Otukpo General Hospital.

Available information to the NRHJN indicated that Late Ochanya was born a sickly child to a widow, Rose Abah, though out of wedlock, but her biological father had been absent through her life.

Late Ochnaya’s mother, Rose and the wife of Andrew and mother to Victor Ogbuja the duo rapists, are described as cousins.

Chronicling the event that led to the death of Ochanya, Professor Dura stated:o

“In June 2018, a case of Rape was reported to FIDA Benue involving 13-year-old Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje. The suspects were named as Andrew Ogbuja (father) and Victor Ogbuja (son).

“Ochanya was at this time suffering from VVF as a result of the rape which was ongoing for over two years. Victor Ogbuja in particular, also indulged in anal sex with Ochanya.

“On the 8th of August, FIDA Benue took the victim, her mother Rose Abah and her caregiver, Evangelist Margaret Soo (Founder of Restorer of Paths Care Foundation located in Otukpo, Benue State) to the Family Unit of the Police State Command, and made a complaint of rape against the two suspects.

“The first suspect, Andrew Ogbuja was arrested, while his son remained at large. He was arraigned before Upper Area Court 1 in Makurdi on the 13/08/18 and granted bail on the 23/08/18.

Late Ochanya

“On the next adjourned date 24/09/18, the Court did not sit and the case was further adjourned to the 5th of November 2018.

“Meanwhile the case file was forwarded for Legal advice to the Ministry of Justice and assigned to a State Counsel.

“FIDA Benue were able to get free treatment for Ochanya through a programme of the First Lady of Benue State, Her Excellency, Eunice Ortom, which was “Free Treatment for VVF Cases in Benue State”.

“Ochanya was examined and referred to Jos Teaching Hospital for corrective surgery. However, upon further examination at Jos, she was put on drugs. Her caregiver informed the Branch that she was steadily responding to the drugs.

“Sadly, FIDA Benue was informed by Evangelist Margaret Soo (caregiver) on the 17th October, that Ochanya had died on the same day at Ultimate Care Hospital in Otukpo. (Not Benue State University Teaching Hospital as speculated)

FIDA Benue has therefore written a petition to the Commissioner of Police for the rearrests and arrest of both suspects for the offences of Criminal Conspiracy and Culpable Homicide.

FIDA Benue is committed to getting Justice for Ochanya through legal process.

Signed:

Dr. Magdalene Dura

President, FIDA Benue State.

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