The Benue State government on Thursday re-arraigned the suspended lecturer of the state polytechnic, Andrew Ogbuja, accused of raping the late 13-year-old Ochanya Ogbanje at the state’s high court.
Mr Ogbuja was arraigned on four counts for alleged sexual abuses of the late Miss Ochanya during a period of over five years which resulted in her death in October 2018 according to the charges.
Mr Ogbuja was accused alongside his son, Victor, who has been missing since the incident became public in 2018.
The defendants, both maternal relatives of the deceased, allegedly abused the late Ochanya after her mother, Rose Abah, brought her to live with them at the age of five.
In search of sound education, Ms Abah had taken Miss Ochanya to live with the Ogbuja’s whose residence was located on a street almost opposite the Emmanuel Primary and Secondary School where Miss Ochanya obtained her primary education in Ugbokolo, Benue State.
Mrs Abah and her family were, however, plunged into sorrow when medical practitioners pronounced their daughter dead in October after she suffered from Vesico-Vaginal Fistula (VVF).
This followed a series of rapes allegedly perpetrated by her niece’s husband, Andrew, and his fugitive son, Victor, during the eight years when Miss Ochanya stayed with them, her parents said.
State prosecutors had first arraigned Mr Ogbuja at a Magistrate court on allegations of rape but amended the charge sheet after the late Miss Ochanya’s death and transferred the case to a high court.
Mr Ochanya, who has been in prison since his arrest over the incidence in 2018, has pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him.
The case has been adjourned till November 14