Amid sex-for-mark scandal rocking the nation’s higher institutions of learning, a senior lecturer, Andrew Ogbuja, is facing trial at Makurdi High Court in Benue, for allegedly gang-raping a 13-year-old girl, Ochanya Ogbanje, to death with his son.
Ochanya had died on October 17, 2018 from complications that resulted from her prolonged rape by the lecturer and his son, Victor, still at large.
Ochanya lectures at Benue Sate Polytechnic Ugbokolo.
The accused pleaded innocence of a four-count charge bordering on rape and murder brought against him before Justice Augustine Ityonyiman.
The prosecutor Mr P. M. Ukande, a Deputy Director, Public Prosecutions in the State Ministry of Justice, urged the court to remand the accused and fix a date for commencement of trial..
Counsel to the accused, Mr. Abel Onoja, did not oppose the application for trial and therefore urged the court to make an order to compel the prosecution to ensure that medical experts named in the suit are physically brought to court to testify.
“My Lord, I have a motion which seeks to compel the prosecution to produce medical experts who have been mentioned in the proof of evidence to be put on notice as to their physical appearance in court so that they can testify when the trial commences,” Onoja pleaded.
But the prosecutor opposed the application, saying it is wrong and premature for the defence counsel to come up with such application since trial has yet to commence.
In his ruling, Justice Augustine Ityonyiman, overruled the defendant’s application, saying “it is premature.”
The case has been adjourned to Nov. 14 for commencement of trial.