Benue StateThe National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has arrested the aunty of the late Ochanya Ogbaje, Mrs. Ogbuja, a worker at the catering department of Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo.
In a statement yesterday, NAPTIP alleged that the accused had knowledge of the repeated rape of the minor but refused to report or speak out.
According to NAPTIP, the arrest of Ogbuja came about four weeks after an intensive manhunt having disappeared from her house shortly after the minor’s death.
Ogbaje, a 13-year-old student of the Federal Government Girls College, Gboko, died on October 21 after five years of anal and vaginal rape led to vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) and other health complications. This occurred when she was living with the family of the two men, a father and his son, who raped her.
The statement added that her death was as a result of alleged sexual abuse by Andrew Ogbuja, Head of Department, Catering and Hotel Management at the Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, and his son, Victor Ogbuja, a final year student of Animal Production at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.
According to the agency, Ogbuja, who got hint of plans to arrest her, absconded to Lagos and later to Abuja before she finally returned to Markudi were she was arrested on Friday afternoon.
NAPTIP Director-General, Julie Okah-Donli, said the suspect would be investigated to ascertain her level of connivance in the incident and thereafter charged to court.
She said: “I am still pained by the tragic death of the late Elizabeth Ochaya Ogbaje and the only thing we can do to ensure that her groaning spirit rest in peace is to ensure that full dose of justice is served on all those that are directly or indirectly involved in the unwholesome act that led to her death.
“It is important to establish the status of people around the late girl who had knowledge of her ordeal and yet refused to report to the law enforcement agencies who would have rescued her.
“We cannot continue to fold our hands while our children are been sexually molested and assaulted by people that ought to have protected them. This case at hand will be a case that will be monitored and all those linked in one way or the other shall all be made to face the full weight of the law. I also want to use this opportunity to appeal to all governors to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP), which is presently applicable in the Federal Capital Territory. This Act is designed to ensure that our children and other vulnerable classes of the society are protected.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Ogbuja was arrested by the police, arraigned before a Makurdi Upper Area Court in August 2018 and remanded in prison but his son fled. Ogbuja has been remanded in prison till the next date of hearing of the matter in court on November 29.