A senior lecturer with Benue Sate Polytechnic Ugbokolo Andrew Ogbuja has been arraigned before a state High Court in Makurdi for 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.
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 plead 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 suit are physically brought before the court to testify during the commencement of full trial.
“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 judge saying “it was wrong and premature for the defense counsel to come up with such application hence full trial was yet to commenced.”
Read Also: Sex-for-marks: Victims open can of worms in varsities
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, 2019, for the commencement of the trial.