The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has condemned in strong terms the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl, Ochanya Ochiga by one Andrew Ogbuja of Benue State Polytechnic and his son, Victor Ogbuja, respectively, which incident led to her death.
Accordingly, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr. Tony Ojukwu has requested the Inspector General of Police (IGP), and the Benue state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice among others to ensure that the perpetrators of the dastardly act are properly brought to book.
Receiving preliminary report on the matter conducted by the Benue state office of the Commission, Mr. Ojukwu who was visibly angry expressed shock that the little Ochanya, a minor, could pass through the sad experience in the hands of the supposed guardian.
The Executive Secretary promised that the Commission will work with relevant authorities including the Benue state Ministry of Justice and the Police to ensure that the culprits are prosecuted in accordance with the law. Accordingly, he has directed the Benue office of the Commission to hold a watching brief on the matter throughout the prosecution of the matter in court.
He urged the Police to intensify efforts to apprehend one of the suspects, Victor Ogbuja who is allegedly on the run, to face prosecution. The Executive Secretary assured that the Commission will monitor all the processes and mount advocacy around protection of young persons and women from rape and other related sexual assaults and will create awareness of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act.
Mr. Ojukwu said the Commission is working assiduously to promote legislations that protect the rights of the girl child stating that the Child’s Rights Act passed since 2003 has so far been adopted by 24 out of the 36 states in Nigeria. He stated that the Commission will be carrying another round of nationwide sensitization campaign on Child’s Rights Act 2003 to further scale up awareness on the rights of the child including sexual violence and other related human rights issues.
He noted that there are inadequate reportage of rape cases and other forms of sexual violence due to fear of stigmatization urging victims, their relations, and members of the public to always come forward and report such cases to the appropriate authorities so as to ensure accountability for such violations.
Director Corporate Affairs & External Linkages, NHRC.