Lecturer arraigned for allegedly raping housemaid to death
• Protests in Abuja over victim’s death after sexual abuse by don, son
A Senior lecturer in the Department of Catering and Hotel Management, Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, Mr. Andrew Ogbuja, aged 51, was yesterday arraigned for a fresh charge at the Chief Magistrate Court in Makurdi, for criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide. The court also remanded him in prison for the alleged rape of his 13-year-old housemaid, Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbaje.
This is just as the Old Students Association of Federal Government College, Gboko, Benue State and other civil society oganisations in the country yesterday protested against the death of Ogbaje, who was allegedly raped by Ogbuja and his son, Victor. The protesters demanded justice and proper prosecution of the suspects at Unity Fountain, Abuja.
Before her death last week Wednesday at Benue State Teaching Hospital, the victim was a Junior Secondary School 1 student at the Federal Government College, Gboko, Benue. The girl, a cousin of the lecturer’s wife, was allegedly sexually abused by the suspects for about five years, while she lived with them.
While Ogbuja was arrested by the police, arraigned and remanded in prison, his son fled. The rape victim died of Vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) and other health complications after being allegedly abused by the duo on several occasions.
Speaking with newsmen, one of the protesters, Esther Arabare, said: “We are only calling for justice for late Ochanya. This is a disgrace to the general public, especially women.” The protesters later marched to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
At the court in Makurdi, president of the National Council of Women Society, Benue chapter, Chief Okochi, said Benue women are in pains over what happened to the late Ochanya and for what other women in the country are going through.
“We are not going to take this lightly, we need justice in this case and l beg the police to go after the son and his mother, arrest and prosecute them, especially the mother who harboured the deceased for five years.”
Reacting, the acting governor of Benue State, Benson Abounu, advised the police and judiciary to ensure that justice is done in the case. Abounu in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Ede Ogaba Ede, described the act as inhuman, shameful and deserving of nothing less than appropriate punishment for the perpetrators.