Ochanya: Accused Senior Lecturer Arraigned for Rape, Murder

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The Benue State Government, on Thursday, finally arraigned Mr Andrew Ogbuja, a senior lecturer at the state polytechnic in Ugbokolo, who was alleged to have raped a 13-year-old girl, Ochanya Ogbanje.

Ochanya was reported to have died on October 17, 2018, of complications from prolonged rape by the lecturer and his son, Victor.

Victor was said to still be at large when the case came up in court on Thursday.

The lecturer was arraigned on four counts bordering on rape and murder.

When the charges were read to the accused, he pleaded not guilty.

Following the plea, the prosecuting counsel and Deputy Director, Public Prosecutions in the state, Mr P. M. Ukande, urged the court to remand the defendant and fix a date for trial.

The defence counsel, Mr Abel Onoja, said he was not against the application for trial but prayed the court to make an order to compel the prosecution to ensure that medical experts named in the proof of evidence as witnesses were brought before the court to testify.

“My Lord, I have a motion, which seeks to compel the prosecutor to produce medical experts, who have been mentioned in the proof of evidence, to be put on notice as to their physical appearance in court so that they can testify when the trial commences,” Onoja stated.

Reacting to the application, the prosecuting counsel said it was premature to come up with such a request given the fact that the trial had not fully commenced.

Justice Augustine Ityonyiman, while agreeing with the prosecutor, overruled the defence counsel, saying that the application was premature.

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The court subsequently adjourned the case till November 14, 2019, for the commencement of trial.

Punch

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