The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other related offences said on Friday that its operatives had begun a manhunt for other suspects linked to the case of a 13-year-old girl, Ochanya Ogbaje, who was raped to death in the Gboko area of Benue State.
The NAPTIP Director-General, Julie Okah-Donli, stated this in Abuja, noting that the Nigerian Bar Association, Federal Capital Territory chapter, had also collaborated with the agency to offer free legal services in the prosecution of the rape and murder case.
It will be recalled that Ogbaje, a pupil at Federal Government Girls College, Gboko, died last Sunday after allegedly being sexually abused by one Andrew Ogbuja, a lecturer at the Benue State Polytechnic in the Ugbokolo area and his son, Victor Ogbuja, a final-year student of Animal Production at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.
Ogbaje reportedly died from Vesico Vaginal Fistula and other health complications at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi, last Sunday.
The lecturer had been rearrested and rearraigned while his son was at large.
The NAPTIP DG said on Friday that the anti-trafficking agency would want the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act in the 36 states, so as to address issues of sexual violence.
She said, “The duo allegedly ruthlessly sexually molested little Ochanya since she was nine to age 13 and eventually sent her to her grave. Information reaching us indicated that the matter has been charged to court by a sister law enforcement agency.
“Since the matter is already in court, we shall continue to monitor the situation with a view to ensuring justice for the deceased. In addition to the ongoing prosecution of the principal suspects in the matter, the Makurdi Zonal Command of the agency has been given a directive to ensure that the roles of other accomplices in the matter are reviewed for possible action.
“I call on the Governors’ forum which is an umbrella body for governors in the country, to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act so as to address nagging issues relating to sexual violence being recorded in various states of the federation.”
“We urge children passing through similar situations to speak out and report to the appropriate agency for prompt response. Children who are victims of sexual violence and rape should defy any threat and open up, and I assure them that succor will surely come their way.”