Rape victim gets posthumous award as family makes fresh demand for justice 

Mr Ogbuja, sitting to the far right, is awaiting the start of trial.
Mr Ogbuja, sitting to the far right, is awaiting the start of trial for alleged raping of Ochanya Ogbanje.

A media organization on Tuesday bestowed a posthumous award to the late 13-year-old Ochanya Ogbanje who died in October, last year, following alleged serial rape by her guardian.

The award ceremony, organized by Daily Asset Newspaper, was attended by John Ameh: an elder brother to the late victim, in Abuja, on Tuesday.

Mr Ameh, who spoke on behalf of his family, urged the government to ensure speedy dispensation of justice for the late victim and called on the new Inspector General of Police to arrest the second accused person, Victor Ogbuja.

The young Ogbuja and his father allegedly abused the young teenager sexually, on different occasions, for eight years while Miss Ogbanje was living with them.

The repeated cases of sexual abuses resulted in Miss Ogbanje’s infection with the Vesico-Vaginal Fistula (VVF) infection, a development which later caused her death last October.

While Mr Ogbuja has been arrested, his son, Victor, is still at large, leaving doubts on the level of government’s commitment towards ensuring the successful prosecution of the matter.

In an address to thank the organisers, Mr Ameh asked the advocates of justice, to join in helping to bring about the desired justice for Miss Ogbanje.

“Needless to say that it has been a difficult time for us as a family since the tragic death of our beloved Ochanya in October last year,” he said.

“The circumstances surrounding her painful exit are already in the public domain, but for the sake of emphasis, Ochanya’s aggressors and killers, the paedophilic Andrew Ogbuja and his son, Victor, must be brought to justice.

“We appeal to the new IGP to declare Victor Ogbuja wanted for the rape and death of Ochanya.

“Our demand for justice is not borne out of vengeance, but the sheer desire to ensure that other girls within the community and Nigeria as a whole, are safe from the pandemic of sexual violence.

“On behalf of the family, I would like to thank the management and staff of Daily Asset Newspaper for this kind gesture.

“It is the first of its kind from a private organisation, in trying to raise awareness about the dangers of child sexual abuse, which has assumed epidemic proportions in the country,” Mr Ameh said.

Other recipients of various awards at the event are the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and governors of Jigawa, Benue, and Akwa-Ibom States, among others.

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