Benue State Government has arraigned a senior lecturer at the Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, Andrew Ogbuja, before the State High Court, Makurdi for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl, Ochanya Ogbanje.
Ochanya was said to have died on October 17, 2018, of complications from the prolonged rape allegedly inflicted on her by the lecturer and his son, Victor.
Mr Ogbuja was arraigned on Thursday on four charges bordering on rape and murder. He pleaded not guilty.
The lecturer’s son is still at large.
Prosecuting counsel, P. M. Ukande, urged the court to remand the defendant and fix a date for trial.
Defence counsel, Abel Onoja, said he was not against the application for trial but prayed the court to make an order to compel the prosecution to ensure that the medical experts named in the suit are physically brought before the court to testify.
In reaction, the prosecuting counsel said it was “premature to come up with such a request, given the fact that the trial has not fully commenced.”
Justice Augustine Ityonyiman overruled the defendant’s application and adjourned the suit until November 14, 2019, for the commencement of trial.