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On Thursday 28th April, a verdict was given on the case of Ochanya Ogbanje, the 13 year old schoolgirl whose death from rape in 2018 created the hashtag #JusticeForOchanya.
The Benue State High Court in Makurdi acquitted Mr. Andrew Ogbuja against the charge of rape.
A lecturer at Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, he had been accused of raping the late Ochanya alongside his son.
However, a contradictory verdict was given to Mr. Ogbuja’s wife.
According to a report by Premium Times Nigeria, the Federal High Court, Makurdi jailed Mrs. Felicia Ochiga-Ogbuja for five months with no option of fine, for “failing to protect the child from her husband”.
Her verdict which was given on the same day as her husband, runs contrary to the verdict given by the State Court which freed him of allegations of rape towards Ochanya Ogbanje.
Mr. Ogbuja and his son Victor are maternal relations of the deceased who lived with them. They were accused of raping her until she fell ill and died. Ochanya had been admitted at the Federal Medical Center, Makurdi for two months before her eventual death on October 17, 2018.
Although Victor, one of the accused has yet to be found by the police since he ran away upon her death, the Benue State government arraigned the 54 year old Mr. Ogbuja before the Makurdi High Court on four counts of rape and her death.
The judge, Augustine Ityonyiman, held that police investigators failed to subject Mr. Ogbuja to medical examination so that his specimen could match the findings in the medical reports presented to the court.