The prosecution on Tuesday told a Makurdi Chief Magistrates’ Court that the accused lecturer in the case of 13-year-old girl, Ochanya Ogbanje, allegedly raped to death must stand trial alongside his son, presently at large.
Daily Trust reports that the accused, Andrew Ogbuja, a senior lecturer at the Department of Catering and Hotel Management in Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo and his son, Victor Ogbuja, a final year student at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, were alleged to have serially raped the victim for over five years, resulting in the illnesses which later led to her death in October, last year.
When the case came up today, the Benue state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mike Gusa told the court that there was a prima facie case against Ogbuja and his son currently on the run.
Police prosecutor, Edward Imo, also informed the court that the legal advice was out, adding that it indicated that “there is a prima facie case” against the defendants.
The legal advice, which was sighted by our correspondent, showed that the Attorney-General urged the police to intensity efforts to arrest the second defendant, Victor Ogbuja who has been on the run since the news of Ochanya’s death broke.
Sequel to the victim’s death which triggered outrage across the country, Ogbuja was rearrested and re-arraigned before the trial Magistrate, Isaac Ajim.
In the legal advice marked, MoJ/LEG.3CR/39/100, dated January 10, 2019, and addressed to the Commissioner of Police, Benue State Command Headquarters, Makurdi, the Attorney-General said, “Arising from the health condition of the deceased due to multiple rape and sexual abuse resulting to grievous injuries confirmed by medical reports, it is our legal opinion that a case of criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide punishable with death under Sections 97 and 222 of the Penal Code Revised Edition (Laws of Benue State) 2004 has been made out against the above named accused person and shall be prosecuted accordingly.
“Efforts should be made to arrest Victor Ogbuja who is still at large, for Justice to take its course.”
On his part, Ogbuja through his lawyer, Edward Onoja, filed an application for bail, which the court slated for hearing on February 5, 2019.
The court however adjourned the suit till March 13 for further mention.
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