As several civil society groups stormed the streets of Abuja, yesterday, to protest the death of Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbaje, Benue State government has called on the police and the judiciary to ensure that justice is done over the death of the 13-year-old girl who died after being reportedly violated sexually.
It said it would stop at nothing to ensure that those responsible for her death were brought to book.
The protesters drawn from the National Council for Women Societies (NCWS), International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Old Girls of Federal Government College, Gboko, Idoma Youth Movement, matched from the Unity Fountain to Federal Ministry of Justice chanting: “We want justice for the girl child, hang the rapists.”
Miss Ochanya was raped and sodomized by her aunt’s husband Andrew Ogbuja and son Victor from age 8 till 13, when she died of complications of the dreaded Vesico Vagina Fistula (VVF).
The acting Governor of Benue State, Benson Abounu described the act as inhuman, shameful and deserving of nothing less than appropriate punishment for the perpetrators.
Abounu in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Ede Ogaba Ede vowed that the state government will stop at nothing to ensure that the perpetrators of the dastardly act were brought to book.
He promised that the state government would give the police necessary support towards the prosecution of the case to its logical conclusion, to serve as deterrent to others with similar evil tendencies.
“He says the mere thought of sexually molesting a minor is in itself condemnable, and stressed that those who take advantage of vulnerable persons in the society commit unpardonable sins against God and humanity,” the statement read in part.
Speaking on the death of Ochanya, National President of NCWS, Chief Gloria Laraba Shoda said it was “barbaric for a man and his son to indulge in ruining the destiny of a little girl.
“As a mother, my heart is broken and I think they should be jailed for life. It’s only insane and demonic men that rape minors and girls for their evil missions
“We are calling on relevant security agencies to help us fight for justice; that man and his son must go to jail for killing an innocent girl.
FIDA president, Mrs. Ngozi Ikenga called on government to protect the right of the girl child.
“Law enforcement agencies should never be bias on cases of sexual abuse, because nemesis will definitely come upon them.
“We are asking for justice and total elimination of this evil act from our society,” she lamented.
Director, Women and Children & Vulnerable Groups, Human Rights Commission commended NCWS and FIDA on their efforts to provide justice for girl.
“We have taken actions on the case from our office in Benue State. We await legal advice from the office of DPP, Ministry of Justice, Makurdi, so, that prosecution can commence at the high court.
She urged Nigerians and victims of sexual violence to speak out to stop the trend and save the lives of victims.
Meanwhile, a Makurdi Chief Magistrate Court has remanded 51-year-old lecturer, Mr. Ogbuja, in prison custody.
Ogbuja is a senior lecturer and Head of Department in the Department of Catering and Hotel Management.
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