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Ochanya: Absence of presiding magistrate stalls court proceedings

Ochanya: Absence of presiding magistrate stalls court proceedings

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Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

Proceedings of the court involving a Polytechnic lecturer, Andrew Ogbuja, who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl under his guardianship could not hold, on Thursday, due to the absence of the presiding Magistrate, Isaac Ajim.

The matter, which was expected to be taken over by the Ministry of Justice as directed by the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, could not make progress, on Thursday, as the trial magistrate was said to be attending a conference in Abuja.

In a chat with newsmen at the court premises, on Thursday, state’s Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Mike Gusa, promised to be back to court with his team of lawyers on the next adjourned date on December 14, this year.

“We came to court prepared to take over the proceedings as directed by the governor.

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“We are also doing this because of the attention the matter had drawn. Governor Sameul Ortom is also interested and directed that we take over proceedings,” Gusa said.

It would be recalled that the accused lecturer was rearrested and re-arraigned at the Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Makurdi and charged for criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide following the wild condemnation and protests across the country that greeted the death of the victim, Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje on October 17, this year.

According to the First Information Report (FIR), the deceased suffered complications of Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) and other health related issues suspected to be from serial sexual abuse by the accused, Ogbuja and his son, Victor Ogbuja who is presently at large.

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