Ochanya: family gives IGP two weeks to declare escaped killer wanted

By Grace Obike, Abuja

The family of a 13-year-old victim, Ochanya Ogbanje who was raped to death two years ago have given the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu two weeks to declare her escaped rapist wanted.

The family who accused the IGP of shielding the accused Victor Ogbuja said that two years after her death, the police is yet to declare him wanted or issue a bench warrant for his arrest.

Ochanya’s elder brother Ameh Ejekwonyilo made the statement Monday in Abuja at a press conference organised by the Federal Government Girls College, Gboko old girls association in collaboration with her family.

Ejekwonyilo said that if the ultimatum is not met by the IGP, the family members, FGGC Gboko Old Girls members, the Executive Director Make A Difference Initiative (MAD), Mr. Lemmy Ughegbe, Executive Director, Wanda Adu Foundation, Wanda Ahe and other well-meaning individuals will storm the police headquarters in Abuja to register their displeasure.

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He stated, “Today’s event has become necessary in view of the fact that over two years after the death of Ochanya as a result of health complications arising from her being serially raped by the suspected rapists, the Nigeria Police Force are still incapable of arresting and bringing to justice one of the principal suspects, Victor Ogbuja, in this heinous crime.

“It is worth repeating that the still-at-large suspect is the son of Mr. Andrew Ogbuja and an accomplice in the crime who had been apprehended and already facing trial before the Benue State High Court.

“While the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking-in Persons (NAPTIP) has made tremendous progress in the prosecution of Mrs. Ogbuja at the Federal High Court in Makurdi, Benue State, in respect of the sordid circumstances surrounding Ochanya’s death as well the Benue State government’s trial of Mr. Ogbuja, the police seemed to have continued to shield Victor Ogbuja from answering to his crimes.

“It is in the light of the foregoing that we hereby put the IGP on notice that in the event that he fails to declare Victor Ogbuja wanted for the egregious crimes that have been linked to him in the aforementioned Legal Advice, we as a family, the FGGC Gboko Old Girls’ Association and other civil society organisations will have no choice but to storm the Police Force Headquarters at Louis Edet House in Abuja to register our displeasure over the continued refusal to arrest and bring the fugitive to justice.

“The two-week notice is hereby served on the IGP from the day of this press conference being Monday, November 16, 2020.

“We arrive at this conclusion based on the fact of the overwhelming Legal Advice indicting Victor Ogbuja from the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Benue State to the Benue State Commissioner of Police. From the Legal Advice, the police authorities ought to have declared VICTOR OGBUJA WANTED and wage a national manhunt to apprehend him.

“As we speak, this has not been done and the young Ogbuja has therefore remained an obscure fugitive possibly living secretly secured somewhere and quietly committing more sex crimes until luck will again run out on him.

“Since Ochanya’s painful experience in the hands of the suspects, and subsequent tragic death two years ago, Victor Ogbuja has been on the run and has continued to evade arrest not because he is skilled in doing so but rather due to clear indifferent attitude of the police towards the matter.

“We are now of the view that it is simply and squarely a question of neglect, if not outright refusal, by the police to arrest and bring Victor Ogbuja before justice over the rape and death of Ochanya Ogbanje.”