A Makurdi Upper Area Court on Monday remanded a senior lecturer at the Department of Catering and Hotel Management, Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, for allegedly defiling his 13-year-old housemaid.
The accused, Andrew Ogbuja, who was arrested last Friday, pleaded with the judge to temper justice with mercy and grant him bail to enable him to go back home and resolve the matter amicably.
The accused, who spoke through his counsel, David Ojile, promised to take full responsibility for the treatment of the victim, saying it was a family affair.
But the judge, Justice S. D. Kwen, rejected the plea and remanded the lecturer at the Makurdi Federal Prison.
The victim, a JSS 1 pupil of the Federal Government College, Gboko, said her guardian’s son, Victor, was the first to rape her in 2013.
She said, “It all started in 2013 when I turned five years old and went to live with my mother’s sister in Ugbokolo because there was no school in my village.
“So, when l was eight years old, the son started having sex with me and when the sister caught him, she reported him to their father, who scolded him. From there, the father also started doing the same thing by sleeping with me and l told my mother. My mother told my elder sister, who took me to Makurdi for checkup.
“Last year September, l fell ill and was taken to the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, where l spent two months and five days. In the hospital, they checked me and discovered that what my aunt’s son and his father did to me affected me and was responsible for my condition.
“My mother went to confront my aunt and the husband, but they did not take the matter seriously. I want my health back.”
The police prosecutor, Inspector Patrick Sunday, said on August 8, 2018, around 12pm, one Rose Abah, of Ogene Amadu Edumoga, in the Okpokwu area of Benue State, reported the matter at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department.
He said during police investigation, Andrew was arrested for committing the offence, adding that Victor was at large.
Sunday said the offence was contrary to sections 97 and 284 of the Penal Code, Law of Benue State, 2004.
However, when the case was mentioned, no plea was taken because the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the matter.
The Judge, S. D. Kwen, refused the accused person bail and remanded him in custody pending the determination of the matter.
The case was adjourned till September 24, 2018.
The founder of Restorer of PathCare Foundation, Enewa Soo, said the case was reported to her through the International Federation of Women Lawyers.
She lamented that the victim had been emotionally and mentally depressed since the incident and called on parents to be wary of those they leave their children with.