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Published On: Thu, Oct 25th, 2018

Benue: Human rights groups seek justice for girl, 13, raped to death

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From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

A Non-Governmental Organization, Human Rights Defender and Advocacy of Nigeria as well as Black Diamonds Support Foundation yesterday demanded for the immediate arrest and prosecution of a senior lecturer with the Benue State Polytechnic Ugbokolo, Mr. Andrew Ugboja and his son Victor, who raped a 13 year old girl to death in Ugbokolo, Okpokwu LGA of Benue State.
The organization in a statement signed by its President Innocent Agbo which was made available to our reporter in Makurdi, expressed their deepest disappointment and apprehension that in spite of the widespread national and international outcry against the grave acts of criminality, key government institutions at both the state and federal levels have not found it imperative to put in place the necessary machinery for the arrest and full investigation of the heinous crimes perpetrated by Ogboja and his son against the victim.
He stated that Human Right Defender viewed the crime against late Ochanya as one that no decent, civilized and justice-loving society must tolerate and therefore, called on the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to immediately direct the Benue State Commissioner of police, Ene Okon, to arrest and bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice.
The group also, demanded for a statement from the Presidency to direct relevant agencies in the Ministry of Justice for necessary action and guidance and called on the Benue State government to come out with its position on the matter and sack Mr Ogbuja from his position as lecturer at the Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo.
“It is therefore absolutely unacceptable and an insult to the sensibilities of Nigerians and humanity that almost a week after late Ochanya’s gruesome death after years of torture and pain of pedophilic assaults, the principal suspects, Mr Ogboja, who was said to be a senior lecturer at the Department of Catering and Hotel Management, Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, and his son, Victor, a final year student at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, are still walking the streets as free men.
“On behalf of the family of 13-year-old Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje, whose tragic death occurred on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 as a result of obvious complications arising from the prolonged sexual molestation by the husband of her guardian, Mr Andrew Ogboja, and his son, Victor Ogbuja, we hereby demand for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of this barbaric act”.
“Ochanya’s death is even more disheartening in the context that an alarm was raised by her family less than two weeks before her death.
“Just like the family, we at the Human Rights Defender and Advocacy of Nigeria and our partners across Nigeria and globally, have cause to express similar apprehension following the inaction or inability of the Nigeria Police in arresting Victor, Ogboja’s son since August when the case was taken to court or in re-arresting Mr Ogboja since the death of Late Ochanya. For us, it is now not just a case of rape, but also of culpable homicide”, Agbo stated.
Meanwhile, the suspect Andrew Ogboja has been re-arrested by the police.
The Benue State Police Public Relations Officer DSP Moses Yamu who disclosed in a telephone chat with our correspondent said Ogboja was re-arrested for fresh charge brought up against him, (though he refused to mention the charge).

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