Dear Inspector- General of Police,
CC: Attorney General of the Federation
Cc: Benue State Governor
Today, Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje will be led to rest in her ancestral village of Ogene-Amejo in Okpokwu Local Government of Benue State.
Much of Nigeria have stood still for her in the last two weeks. And she even was not even a politician, a technocrat or celebrity in any way. She was just a school girl, a brilliant one. She was only 13 and she had the whole world ahead of that. Her promising life was cut short on October 17 2018 as a result of a four-year long sexual violence perpetrated against her by Mr. Andrew Ogbuja, a lecturer at the Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo and his son, Victor Ogbuja, a student of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, also in Benue (anal and vagina), starting when she was only eight.
Dear IGP of Police, Sir, all these happened under the roof and nose of Mrs. Felicia Ogbuja, a cousin to Ochanya’s father, Mr. Michael Ogbanje. I am at a loss as to why, amidst the nationwide furror following Ochanya’s demise and the clear evidence against the Ogbujas, after arrest and charging to court of Mr. Ogbuja, after declaring his comrade-in-crime son wanted, your office yet to call Mrs. Ogbuja (who brought the victim to her home and saw it all happen) for questioning.
Sir, I do not doubt your competency on this matter, but I insist that there is an oversight. As Ochanya will be laid to Mother Earth today, I would like to reinforce the need for her to get justice.
The following points, therefore, may help to establish why I believe Mrs. Ogbuja IS COMPLICIT, IS ACCESSORY TO THE FACT OF A MURDER and should be held LIABLE also.
1. Ochanya collapsed in her school, the Federal Government Girlss College (FGGC), Gboko in February this year and was taken to the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi. There, for the first time it was established that she suffered from Vesicovagina Fistula (VVF), a complication from the protracted sexual abuse, which started when she was eight (amidst drugging, threats used to quieten her for so long).
2. SHE SHIELDED THE TRUTH: After the ugly revelation at the hospital, Mrs. Ogbuja, obviously realising that the lid was being finally blown from her well-kept secret o her active knowledge of the dehumanisation of a minor kept in her care, tried to shield the medical results from Ochanya’s poor and unschooled mother, Mrs. Rose Abah.
3. SHE THREW OCHANYA OUT:
She not only attempted shielding the truth, after Ochanya’s mother confronted her after the girl opened up, Mrs. Ogbuja threw a sick Ochanya out of her house, declaring that she had become a persona non grata, and that she should go to the village. That was inspite of her deteriorating health, rather than own up and look for a life-saving solution.
4. HER ACTION (WHEN SHE WAS IN A POSITION TO HELP PREVENT THE WORST) WORSENED OCHANYA’S CASE
After months in the village in which her case worsened, Ochanya’s plight was brought to the knowledge of Madam Enanya Soo, the founder of Restorer of Path Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in nearby Otukpo township. She thereafter took over her care till her October 17 death after shuttling between JUTH and other hospitals. For someone who knew when her son was first caught raping his second cousin after which her husband resumed his (after pretending to be scolding his son), and was in a position to stop it by even sensing the girl back to her parents, her action could be said to be nothing less than callous.
5. SHE SNEAKED HER HUSBAND FROM DETENTION WITH HER BROTHER’S HELP
When the case was reported to the police and Mr. Ogbuja was arrested and charged to court, she grew furious. When in August he was detained after the case came up for hearing in Makurdi, Mrs. Ogbuja not only cut off all relationship with Ochanya’s family, she started to press powerful buttons. Her powerful brother came to the rescue and against all rule of law, legality and indeed, all accepted court procedures, got her husband Mr. Ogbuja out of detention from the Makurdi prisons. When the case came up for hearing on September 24, the accused was no where in sight! Neither the police nor prison authorities could explain the whereabout of the accused lecturer while the second accused, his son, remained on the run.
6. MRS. OGBUJA THREW A THANKSGIVING PARTY TO CELEBRATE HER HUSBAND’S ‘FREEDOM’.
Not only did Mrs. Ogbuja work to get her husband out of the prison through the back door without a court bail, she reportedly threw a big thanksgiving bash in Ugbokolo on her husband’s return to ‘give thanks to God for delivering her husband and for shaming their enemies’.
7. MRS. OGBUJA IS HERSELF A VICTIM OF MR. OGBUJA’S SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND KNOWS OF HIS ‘EXPLOITS’ YET SHIELDED HIM.
According to family sources, Mrs. Felicia Ogbuja nee Ochiga was raped by Mr. Ogbuja at age 12. She got married a few years later. However, she lost three children at birth in quick successions. Out of the blues, her rapist Mr. Ogbuja appeared, claiming that that was the ‘handiwork of the Alekwu diety’, that since Mr. Ogbuja was the one who disvirgined her, he was destined to be her ‘God-ordained husband’. She was thereafter dragged from her then husband’s house and given in marriage to Ogbuja for whom she later sired six children.
8. SHE KNOWS HER HUSBAND IS A SERIAL PAEDOPHILE, A SEX ADDICT who abused children and his students.
Since Ochanya’s death and nationwide outrage, several female students of BenPoly have approached school officials including the school chairman of the Association of Academic Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) to report how Mr. Ogbuja regularly ‘grabbed’ them in his office in addition to other lurid tales of his sexual molestation
9. HER PRIESTS ALSO KNEW AND ONE TRIED TO SCUTTLE THE COURSE OF JUSTICE
Mrs. Ogbuja’s priests have been privy to this information but all the shoddy details have been swept under the carpet to shield the reputation of the ‘Third-level Knight ‘ of the Catholic Church and ‘preserve his marriage’.
Indeed, her former chaplain, Father Boniface Idoko (now in Abuja) not only knew of Mr. Ogbuja’s abominable philandererings, but tried to talk some Idoma youths in Abuja to call off the massive protest that held in the capital city recently (October). Mr. Ogbuja, also hiding in his sister’s place in Makurdi, also called the youths, offering them N1.5 Million (One Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira) to rethink their activist stand on the matter. Obviously more intent on preserving Mr. Ogbuja’s name and marriage than get justice for a poor girl and ensure the safety of other potential victims.
10. WHAT DOES MRS. OGBUJA KNOW OF THE YOUNG SEMINARIAN’S ‘SACK’?
Recently, as the clouds gather, as the news of the sacrilegious treatment of Ochanya spread like wide fire across the world, a Catholic priest in faraway Congo put a call to a trusted ally in Benue. ‘Call Mrs. Ogbuja and tell her that her time is up. The secret can no longer be kept under the lid. Tell her to tell the world everything she knows about her husband.’
According to the source, Mrs. Ogbuja had approached a young seminarian in her Catholic parish to confide in him about her husband’s randy ways especially the sexual exploitation of underaged children.
According to the sources, several years ago, Mrs. Ogbuja had approached a young seminarian in her Catholic parish to confide in her about her husband’s randy ways especially the sexual exploitation of underaged children. According to the sources, she was a young wife baffled by her husband’s unquenchable sexual appetite especially the rape of minors. She confided in the young seminarian. Young seminarian confronted the powerful knight. That was to deal a catastrophic blow to his priestly career.
A willy Mr. Ogbuja reportedly turned the table against the young seminarian, accusing him of having an adulterous relationship with his wife. The young man received a severe punishment from the Catholic Church authorities in Benue who believed their Knight’s tales as against their upcoming clergy’s. His confirmation as a priest was suspended for several years. When he was eventually confirmed, he was posted away to the Congo, while his accuser, Mr. Ogbuja got promoted in the Knight order to third level, got promotion in the school, became head of dpeartmemt of the Catering and Hotel Management, continue to sire more children with his wife and continued to defile more children and adult (including young Ochanya), and continued to sexually molest his female students.
Dear IGP, I strongly believe that Mrs. Ogbuja should be called for questioning to either deny or confirm the above allegations and even offer more information that may help in the investigation as we strive to get #JusticeForOchanya, and to use this as a peg to end sexual violence in Nigeria.
Just like her husband and son, I believe Mrs. Ogbuja’s time is up!
Thank you, Sir.
Journalist, Activist, Nigerian.
Founder Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE).
November 2, 2018.