A senior lecturer with the Benue Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, Mr Andrew Ogbuja, was on Thursday arraigned before a Makurdi Chief Magistrates’ Court for criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide.
The Prosecution Counsel, Godwin Nev, told the court that the case was reported by one Enwa Soo of No 1/4 Potter Avenue Otada, Otukpo Local Government through a petition to the State Commissioner of Police dated 22nd June 2018.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accused heads the department of catering in the school.
The prosecution counsel, Mr and Mrs Ochanya Obaje, reported a case of molestation via a petition to the police that Andrew Ogbuja and his son, Victor, were sexually molesting their daughter,13 year-old Agene Amejo, who was entrusted to his (Andrew Ogbuja’s) care.
According to the petition, we noticed that one Andrew Ogbuja a lecturer with Benue State Polytechnic Ugbokolo, and his son one Victor Ogbuja, have been having unlawful canal knowledge of Agene Amejo, who lives with them.
He explained that the unlawful sexual escapades led the victim to develop Vesco Vagina Fistula (VVF) and other related ailments.
The counsel averred that Ochanya was admitted at Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Makurdi, where she later died on 17th Oct.2018.
He said the accused, Andrew Ogbuja, was arrested for the offence during Police investigation while Victor, his son, was still at large.
The said the offense contravened Section 97 and 222 of the penal code laws of Benue State.
The counsel said police investigation into the matter was ongoing and asked for more time to finish.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the court declined pleas to be taken for want of jurisdiction as the case was only admitted for cognizance.
In his submission before the court, defense counsel A.A. Onoja, appealed to the court to protect the accused, regretting that his client had been subjected to media trial.
He said the case had generated a lot of media hype and owing to the unusual interest it has created, he would not apply for bail in the interest of the client.
Onoja, however, pleaded with the media, Federation of Female Lawyers and the court to allow the case be put on expeditious trial.
NAN reports that a team of female lawyers, led by Prisca Kula, were at the court to represent the interest of the police informant in the trial.
The Magistrate’s Mr Isaac Ajim, who said he accepted the matter in cognizance, remanded the accused at the Federal Prisons and adjourned the case to Nov.29 for further mention.
Meanwhile, the National Council for Women Societies (NCWS) has commended the Benue women for their show of solidarity over the case.
Speaking to journalists after the adjournment, the state chairman, NCWS, Mrs Grace Okochi, who led hundreds of women to the court, said all they wanted was justice to be served in the matter.
She also called for the immediate arrest of Mrs Felicia Ogbuja, wife of the accused for harboring the atrocity for five years without reporting.
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