RAPED 13-YR OLD OCHANYA: NAPTIP DG INSISTS ON JUSTICE

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Mrs Julie Okah-Donli, Director-General, NAPTIP

AS reactions continued to trail the death on Sunday of the 13-year-old Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbaje,  student of the Federal Government Girls College, Gboko, the  Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, (NAPTIP), Dame Julie Okah –Donli, has insisted that justice must be served on the innocent girl sent to her early grave.

She condemned the demonic action  of Mr Andrew Ogbuja, Head of Department, Catering and Hotel Management at the Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, Benue State and his son, Victor, a final year student of Animal Production at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, who were allegedl to have s3xually abused the late Ochanya, leading to her demise.

Ochanya had battled Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) and other health complications at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi after she was allegedly severely abused by Ogbuja, and his son.

Addressing newsmen on the incident on Friday in Abuja, Okah-Donli, said the sad development had also reinvigorated the resolve of the agency to commence the compilation of the Sex Offenders Register.

She said: “We strongly believe that the likes of the father and son who threw caution and dignity to the winds and s3xually devoured a helpless child under their care have no reason to hold any public office. Their particulars should feature prominently in the said register,” she said.

She, however, noted that information reaching NAPTIP indicated that the matter had been charged to court by a sister law enforcement agency.

“On behalf of the Management and Staff of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), I wish to express our heartfelt condolence to the family of the late Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbaje for the great loss.

“We share their pains and grief at this challenging moment of their lives. Our hearts go to them. May God give them the fortitude to bear the great loss.

“As part of our preventive measures, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), as a Federal Government agency created to ensure protection of Nigerians from human trafficking and other forms of abuses, has continued to lead in awareness creation and advocacy on the need to ensure adequate protection of our children.

”While vigorously working to ensure justice for the gentle soul of the late Ochanya, NAPTIP wishes to use this medium to appeal to stakeholders to join hands with the agency in its renewed sensitisation and awareness to end s3xual violence and rape in Nigeria.

“I wish to call on the Governor’s Forum, which is an umbrella body for all governors in the country, to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) so as to address nagging issues relating to s3xual violence being recorded in various states of the federation.

“It is disturbing that incidences of rape and s3xual violence against minors and other vulnerable segments of the society seem to be on the increase of recent and efforts must be made to address the ugly situation. The necessary legal framework must be put in place, as no effort should be spared in a bid to protect our children,” she said.

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