“Justice for Ochanya, justice for all”, says Protester
A group of protesters comprising members of Unity Schools Old Students Association (USOSA), Abuja Chapter, have demanded justice for late Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje, a 13 years-old girl whose death reportedly followed complications that arose from rape by a father and his son in Ugbokolo, Benue State.
According to a news report aired on the network service of Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), the protesters demanded “justice for Ochanya, justice for all” as well as “hang the rapists“, from the legal system of Nigeria. They reportedly presented their case peacefully at the Federal Ministry of Justice but were angry that the Attorney General of the Federation was not there to address them. For that reason, they took their protest to the National Human Rights Commission and National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIC), respectively.
One of the protesters told NTA news that “Ochanya is our daughter” while another protester said: “Enough is enough. Justice must be given. Our little girls must be protected”. The protesters reportedly vowed to explore every opportunity to get justice for late Ochanya.
NTA news narrated that Late Miss Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje joined her 52 years old Uncle and his family in the Gbokolo area of Benue State, in her quest for quality education. According to the narration, “little did she know she was going to have a sad end”.
Miss Ochanya was allegedly raped repeatedly by her Uncle, Mr Andrew Ogbuja, who is a Lecturer in the Department of Catering and Hotel Management in Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, The Lecturer’s son, Victor Ogbuja, a student of Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi, Benue State, allegedly partook in raping her repeatedly. Consequently, Ochanya fell ill and developed some complications which eventually led to her death.
NTA news further disclosed that the Benue State Police Command has arraigned Mr Andrew Ogbuja before a Magistrate court in Markurdi, capital of Benue State. He was charged for sexually abusing a minor (13 year old Ochanya) who had been living with him but suspected to have died as a result of sexual abuse. The court was told that the abuse was committed by Mr Ogbuja and his son.
The prosecution counsel also reportedly told the court that Ochanya was admitted at the Federal Medical Centre for treatment and was diagnosed of having Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF). She later died on 17th October 2018.
The report added that no plea was taken, for want of jurisdiction. It disclosed that Mr. Ogbuja has been remanded at the Markurdi prison while Victor, his son, is still being looked for.
According to the report, the court adjourned the case till November 29th 2018 for further motion.
By Chinatu (Blessed) Orji,
Department of Mass Communication, Cross River University of Technology