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Late Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje who was allegedly raped to death in Benue State has been conferred with a posthumous award of “Young Person of The Year 2018” by the Daily Asset newspaper.

Ochanya died on October 17, 2018, due to complications arising from the alleged sexual assaults she suffered at the hands of her guardian, Andrew Ogbuja, a lecturer at the Benue State Polytechnic Ugbokolo and his son, Victor Ogbuja, a final year student at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.

Ochanya love for education made her leave her family in Ogene-Amejo village for the Ogbuja house in Okpokwu local government of Benue State due to the abysmal state of the only government school in the community.

The L.G.E.A Primary school, Ogene-Amejo, where Ochanya should have attended but for government's failure. (Pulse)

The L.G.E.A Primary school, Ogene-Amejo, where Ochanya should have attended but for government’s failure. (Pulse)

Receiving the award on behalf of the family in Abuja on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, in Abuja, Ochanya’s brother, John Ameh, renewed call for the swift prosecution of the alleged culprits.

Ameh appealed to the new Inspector-General of police, Adamu Mohammed, to take urgent steps to arrest the primary suspect in the matter, Victor, whom he said had been on the run since the news of Ochanya’s untimely passing.

He said Ochanya’s death has left the family heartbroken, due to the sordid circumstances that led to her untimely departure, urging the new police boss to direct the Benue State Police Commissioner, Okon Ene, to declare the suspect wanted.

Late Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje's brother, John Ameh, receiving the award.

Late Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje’s brother, John Ameh, receiving the award.
Late Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje’s brother, John Ameh, receiving the award.

“It has been a difficult time for us as a family since the tragic death of our beloved Ochanya in October last year,”Ameh 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,” he added.

Victor, Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje and Andrew Ogbuja

Victor, Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje and Andrew Ogbuja
Victor, Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje and Andrew Ogbuja

Ameh appreciated the newspaper for raising awareness on the dangers of child sexual abuse, which has assumed epidemic proportions n the country.

The chairman of the occasion and former presidential aspirant, Prof. Iyorwuese Hagher, called on government at all levels to invest in education.

Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje, 13-year-old girl allegedly raped by lecturer and son, gets posthumous award in Abuja.

Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje, 13-year-old girl allegedly raped by lecturer and son, gets posthumous award in Abuja.
Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje, 13-year-old girl allegedly raped by lecturer and son, gets posthumous award in Abuja.

Similarly, the guest lecturer, Prof. Yima Sent, noted that the bedrock for meaningful development in any society must be predicated on quality education from the primary to the tertiary level.

Credit: Pulse News