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I have tried to look pass the news of the sudden death of 13 year old ‘ Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje‘, and each time I come across news feed concerning the unfortunate demise of this young girl my heart bleeds.
Why this young innocent girl? Mr Andrew Ogbuja you had an alternative which is your wife.
As for the son, who joined in defiling the girl, you are supposed to protect her as an elder brother, not the other way round. This makes my heart bleed even more.
Thinking of her story, I have not been able to bring myself to comprehend what the poor child had to go through in the hands of this wicked family members. The trauma, abuse, shame, pain she must have suffered and endured for such a long time. I wish you had survived this and watch the table turn to see the wicked consumed in their atrocities.
It is a pity your case is used as a reference point, notwithstanding even in death you are still fighting.
I call on all parties who have interest and influence in this case to ensure that Ochanya Elizabeth does not fall amongst statistics but even become a locus classicus.
Mr. Andrew Ogbuja and his son should be charged with homicide. The case should not be like the case of Nameri where the court substituted homicide punishable by death with homicide not punishable by death.
That the wife of the culprit Mrs. Felicia Ochiga Ogbuja be charged with conspiracy, the involvement of her son makes her capable, in negligence she failed in her duty of taking care of the victim. She should have exercised care enough to notice changes in young Ochanya Elizabeth during the years of abuse. This will send a message to all guidance to be watchful of wards under their care.
I urge NGOs, human right activist to rise to this clarion call and ensure justice is done and nothing less than that.
It saddens my heart that a lot of teens and youths go through this wicked act every day, this case should send a dreadful message to them to report such cases and seek for justice.
Lastly, I want to plead with guardians and parents, please be watchful and pay close attention to your girl child. Also be careful of males who come around them, I will say everyone is a suspect because you will be shocked on who the perpetrator might just be.
I hope this letter gets the attention it duly deserves.
Ifeoma Chinenye Onuike
LLM(hons), LLB (hons), ACIPM