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A senior lecturer with the Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, Andrew Ogbuja has been arraigned before a State High Court in Makurdi.

He is accused of allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl, Ochanya Ogbanje to death.

Ogbuja’s arraignment came nearly a year after Ochanya’s death on October 17, 2018 from complications said to have resulted from her prolonged rape by him and his son, Victor, who is now at large.

The accused who was arraigned before Justice Augustine Ityonyiman of the State High Court 9, however, pleaded not guilty when the four-count charge bordering on rape and murder was read to him, according to the Nation.

The prosecuting lawyer, Mr. P. M. Ukande, Deputy Director, Public Prosecution, Benue State Ministry of Justice, consequently prayed the court to remand the accused and fix a date for proper trial having pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against him.

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 are physically brought before the court to testify during commencement of full trial.

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“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.

The prosecuting counsel vehemently opposed the application brought before the saying, “it was wrong and premature for the defence counsel to come up with such application, hence, full trial was yet to commence.”

The trial judge, Justice Augustine Ityonyiman, while agreeing with the prosecution, overruled the defendant’s application, saying that, “it is premature.”

Subsequently, the court adjourned the suit to November 14, , for commencement of trial.

Some of the charges read as follows:

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“That you, Andrew Ogbuja, male and one Victor Ogbuja, your son who is now at large between 2013 and 2015 at your residence in Ugbokolo town, Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court agreed to do illegal acts, to wit: severally rape one Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje from the age 7 to 13 years when she was placed under your care and same acts were done pursuant to the said agreement and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 97 of the Penal Code, CAP. 124 Laws of Benue State, 2004.

“That you, Andrew Ogbuja, male and one Victor Ogbuja, your son who is now at large between 2013 and 2015 at your residence in Ugbokolo town, Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court intentionally caused the death of one Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje, a minor, aged 13 years placed under your care and lived with your family in that between 2013 and 2015 when she was between 7-13 years old, you raped the said Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje severally as a of which she died in October, 2017 of sexual abuse related disease and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 222 of the Penal Code CAP. 124 Laws of Benue State, 2004,” among other counts.

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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Nigerians are afraid of police than criminals – Gbajabiamila

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has declared that the 9th House is committed to overhauling policing in Nigeria.

The Speaker stated that Nigerians are scared of police than criminals.

Gbajabiamila stated this in his opening remarks at the resumption of the House following a two-month holiday.

He commended the President for signing the police reform act into law. He added that the Nigeria Police force as presently constituted had failed to meet expectations of Nigerians.

“Two weeks ago, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, signed the Police Reform Act into law. The Act is the first significant reform effort in a generation. It is the beginning and not the end of such measures. The Nigeria Police Force, as it currently operates, has too long and too often failed to meet the expectations of the Nigerian people.

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“In many parts of our country, people are more afraid of encounters with the police than they are of criminals.

“That’s not right, and we can no longer stand for it. There will be, in this 9th House of Representatives, further legislation to improve police performance across the board and to introduce mechanisms for individual and collective accountability in the Nigeria Police Force. Our objective is nothing short of a total overhaul of the culture and practice of policing in Nigeria,” he stated.

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The Speaker also said the House has commenced work on the armed forces trust fund.

“In the same vein, we have begun, and we will expedite work on the Armed Forces Trust Fund Bill so that in the shortest possible time, we can finalise and pass legislation that ensures once and for all that the resources we need to protect the homeland are never at the mercy of politics or changes in policy or personnel.”

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JUST IN: Buhari seeks approval for N147bn refund to Ondo, four other states

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President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the National Assembly to approve the refund of N148 billion to Ondo, Bayelsa, Cross River, Osun and Rivers States for federal road projects the five states executed.

The president made this known in a letter on Tuesday sent to the speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and read on the floor of the house.

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From the breakdown, Ondo State, where the governorship election will hold next week, is to receive N7 billion.

The Senate had last year approved N10 billion to Kogi State, three days to its governorship election.

The approval was criticised by opposition lawmakers who asked that the approval be delayed untill after the election.

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They were, however, outvoted by majority senators.

More details later…..

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