Court remands lecturer in prison custody over rape

From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

A Makurdi Upper Area Court, yesterday, remanded a 51 year old man Andrew Ogbuja, a senior lecturer in the department of Catering and Hotel Management at the Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo for alleged rape and persistent molestation of his 13year old housemaid, Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbaje.
During hearing of the case, Police Prosecutor, Inspector Patrick Sunday, told the court that the case was reported on 8th August 2018, at about 1200hrs. He said one Rose Abah of Ogene Amadu Edumoga, Okpokwu LGA of Benue state, came to criminal investigation and Intelligence Department and reported the matter.
According to the First Information Report, Mrs. Rose Abah said that sometimes in February 2018 when her daughter one Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje aged 13 was sick and admitted at FMC Makurdi, she told her that, when she was staying with her cousin sister Felicia Ogbuja in Ugbokolo town between 2013-2015, the son of her cousin sister by name Victor Ogbuja had canal knowledge of her, and further said the husband to the cousin sister Andrew Ogbuja also had canal knowledge of her.
He said that during police investigation, the said Andrew Ogbuja was arrested for committing the offence while his son, Victor Ogbuja is said to be at large, explaining that the offence is contrary to section 97 and 284 of the penal code law of Benue state 2004.
The accused person Andrew Ogbuja who was arrested last week Friday, admitted to committing the crime even as he pleaded with the judge to tamper justice with mercy and grant him bail to enable him go back home and resolve the matter amicably considering his status.
Counsel to the accused David Ojile, equally promised to take full responsibility for the treatment of the victim, maintaining that it is a family affair.
No plea was taken for lack of jurisdiction as the Judge, S. D Kwen , refused the accused person bail and remanded him in prison custody pending the determination of the matter, while the case was adjourned to 24th September 2018.

Speaking to newsmen shortly after the court sitting, a caregiver and founder of Restorer of PathCare Foundation, Evangelist Enewa Soo, stated that, sometime in June 2018, this case was reported to her through the International Federation of Women Lawyers and since then, she has never repeated in ensuring that Elizabeth’s health was restored.

“As at the time they brought the girl, she was very sick and when we began to make our findings, we discovered that she was actually raped and the doctor confirmed that she was used both in the virgina and the anus by one victor Ogbuja who is a son to the guardian where she was staying”.

“Since then we have been trying hard to see how we can restore her health. We took her to teaching hospital where series of tests were carried out and she has also been booked for VVF operation in Jos, Plateau state between 16-17th September, 2018”.

She lamented that Ochanya has been emotionally and mentally depressed as a result of her situation and called on parents to be wary of who they allow their children to stay with.

Narrating her ordeals, the victim Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbaje, a Jss 1 student of Federal government college Gboko, said her guardian’s son first raped her in 2013 and warned her never to disclose it to anyone.

She said: “It all started in 2013 when I turned five years and came to live with my mother’s sister in Ugbokolo because there was no school in my village. So when l was 8 years, the son started sleeping with me and when the sister caught him, she reported the brother to their father and the father scolded him. From there, the father also started doing same thing by sleeping with me and l told my mother. Then my mother told my elder sister who later took me to Makurdi for checkup.

“So last year September when l went to school and l felt sick and l was taken to Federal Medical Centre Makurdi where l spent two months and five days before l was discharged. In the hospital, they checked me and discovered that what my aunty’s son and his father did to me was actually affecting me and responsible for my condition. My mother went to confront my aunty and the husband but they did not take the matter seriously and that is why we brought the case here. I want my health back”, Ochanya said painfully.

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