Ochanya: The law truly is an ass! – Peju Akande

Ochanya: The law truly is an ass! – Peju Akande



OCHANYA OGBANJE: We’ve all been waiting with bated breaths to hear the outcome of the judgement against Andrew Ogbuja…then it came and we are left scratching our heads, saying, “…something isn’t right here.”



In 2018, the case of a 13 year old girl, Ochanya Ogbanje who had been serially raped by Andrew Ogbuja, a lecturer at the Benue state Polytechnic, Makurdi, made headlines!



Due to covid maybe, and the fact that our judiciary system still mostly operates analog, the case was finally done with few weeks back and Andrew Ogbuja was acquitted by a High court Judge while his wife, Felicia, in another court, was convicted of negligence in the rape of the deceased child!


It’s baffling!



Same matter, same subjects, different courts, different judgements!



I’m no lawyer, nor do I fully understand how two different judges with the same sets of evidence will arrive at different judgements; if Felicia is convicted, Andrew too should be. Isn’t that how the law is supposed to work, especially as Andrew carried out the crime? It’s true Felicia enabled it though, so she is equally guilty.



I don’t understand it at all.



I fully understand this though, the law is an ass!



That’s why one judge can say, I dismiss and acquit you, a pedophile and rapist, go thee free and tell thineself thou art smart and got away with murder…because though the child victim is dead, I find all the evidences presented before me not strong enough for a conviction…



This is not in the exact words of the Honorable Judge that sat on Andrew’s case, this seems in my ears to be the words he spoke.



The Honorable judge shouldn’t be blamed; he based his judgment on facts; not truths. He based his judgement on evidence, not hearsays.



But before I continue my capping, here’s a short recap for those unaware of the case.



A 13 year old child, Ochanya died from sexually inflicted injuries while living with her mother’s cousin and her husband, Felicia and Andrew Ogbuja. Ochanya was sent to live with her aunty because Aunty’s family lived nearer the school Ochanya wanted to go to study.



Ochanya is the last of 11 children born to poor farmers; Michael and Rose Ogbanje; they hoped Felicia and her husband would help them raise their daughter. Unfortunately, Victor, son to the Ogbujas, began to sexually molest Ochanya; then in a sadistic twist of fate; Andrew began to sexually molest Ochanya, after he was reported to have scolded his son for committing same.



Ochanya developed a condition in late 2018 called VVF, VesicoVaginal Fistula, a debilitating health condition common to child brides in the north. Her condition was said to be due to years of sexual molestation by her aunty’s husband, Andrew Ogbuja. Ochanya was leaking urine and faeces like a baby and was in diapers for months.



A Pulse 2018 news report said, “When we began to make our findings, we discovered that she was actually raped; and the doctors confirmed that she was allegedly sexually abused through the vagina and the anus. We began to make efforts on how she can be treated…All through Ochanya’s days here [June to October 2018], she was on diapers…”



Same report asserts, “When I was eight years old, the son started sleeping with me and when his sister caught him, she reported him to their father and the father scolded him. From there, the father also started sleeping with me,” Ochanya notes on August 15, 2018.”



Now you have an idea of what this child faced, don’t you just hate the law that freed the perpetrator, Andrew Ogbuja; and thus leaving the child’s family raw with pain?



Don’t you just want to scream at the police for botching the job of investigating Andrew Ogbuja properly and thus ensure conviction?



The Judge had averred among other reasons, that the police investigators failed to subject Andrew Ogbuja to medical examination; in order to match his specimen with findings in the medical reports presented to the court.



Punch reported that, “In evaluating the evidence, the judge held that two autopsy reports from the Federal Medical Centre in Makurdi and the Nigeria Police Forensic Laboratory in Lagos, left him in quandary. He said while the autopsy report from the medical centre in Makurdi said Ogbanje died of “natural cause,” the one from the police forensic laboratory said the deceased “suffered diseases that were related to sexual abuse.”



But is this all the evidence provided?



How can a child of 13 years die of “natural causes” if there isn’t something that triggered the “natural causes?”



This is truly baffling!



So the Pedophiles walk! Andrew walks, his son, Victor still at large…is walking. How does this acquittal serve as a deterrent to others in the society?



How does a society heal with this kind of judgement?



I’m glad Ochanya is dead, she is spared this knowledge that it is ok for Andrew and his likes to rape and abuse children and walk free afterwards.



Like someone said, “something isn’t right here.”



A child rapist should never walk free…



His accomplices should never walk free…



His wife was culpable and thus deserved the conviction on negligence but why will he walk free?



Something isn’t just right with this.



May Ochanya Ogbanje’s soul never let those responsible for her death rest! They will not know peace even in freedom!


About The Author

Kingsley Alaribe is a Digital Marketer with 1stNews, and writes the weekly column, Strangers and Lovers. He is also a Data Scientist. Email: [email protected]

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