The Benue State Polytechnic Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has reacted to the death of Ochanya Obaje, a 13-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by one of its members, Andrew Ogbuja, and his son, Victor.
Before her death last Wednesday at Benue State Teaching Hospital, the victim was a Junior Secondary School 1 student at the Federal Government College, Gboko, Benue State.
The girl, a cousin of the lecturer’s wife, was allegedly sexually abused by the suspects for about five years, while she lived with them.
While Mr Ogbuja was arrested by the police, arraigned before a Makurdi Upper Area Court in August 2018 and remanded in prison custody, his son fled.
The rape victim died of Vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) and other health complications after being allegedly abused by the duo on several occasions.
Reacting to the menace, ASUP, in a statement signed by its publicity secretary, Emma Ada, denied being briefed on the matter before being dragged to court.
“The union wishes to state in very clear terms that no body from any quarter had, at any point in time, petitioned the school or the union about the activities of the staff in question to what he is currently in trial for.
“The union was further handicapped in that the issue was not something between a staff and a student or a staff and another staff. With no complaint to work on, the union could only watch as events unfold from the court.
“The families of the staff and that of the little Ochanya kept and treated the matter as (a) family issue and none of them nor their relatives saw the need to petition the school nor the union with a view to initiating an investigation into the matter and making recommendations thereof.
“The union wish to state here that since the matter is already before a competent court of law, making further comment on the issue will amount to sub judice, thus, it encourages all concerned persons to allow the law take its full course, in this regard.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Government Girls College, Gboko, Old Students’ Association, alongside other right activists, is set to stage a protest over the girl’s death in Abuja on Thursday.