The Knights of St Mulumba have called for collaboration among stakeholder groups in the country for the protection of minors and vulnerable people against rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence. The call was contained in a Press statement issued by the group, calling for justice in the case of one Miss Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje, who was said to have died recently as a result health complications, after she had been allegedly raped.
The late Elizabeth, 13, was said to have died after battling with Vesico-Vaginal Fistula (VVF) and other health complications at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi, after being allegedly severally abused by one Andrew Ogbuja, Head of Department of Catering and Hotel Management, at the Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, Benue State; and his son, Victor Inalegwu Ogbuja.
The case is presently before an Upper Area Court One in Makurdi, presided over by Justice S.D. Kwen who ordered that the two accused persons be remanded in prison custody; on account of criminal conspiracy and rape of the teenager. The said accused, Mr. Ogbuja is a member of the Knights of St Mulumba. He has however been suspended by the order pending the determination of the case.
According to the statement signed by the Supreme Knight of the Order, Sir. Diamond Ovueraye, KSM; the Order condemned the act in its totality and reiterated the commitment of the Order to the teachings and position of the Church on Pro-Life and condemnation of abortion, euthanasia, rape, domestic violence and same sex marriage, among other moral and societal maladies.
The statement reads in part: “The shocking death of thirteen year old Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje, who had battled vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) and other health complications as a result of mindless abuse and rape has come to our notice with great sadness. Her unfortunate death has united humanity nationwide, in condemning the perpetrators of this rather despicable act. We applaud the spontaneity of the condemnation and align ourselves with all men and women of goodwill everywhere, in demanding justice for Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje.
The statement added” |We are sadly aware that a member of our order, Andrew Ogbuja, has been charged to court alongside his son, as the perpetrators of the crime. We note also that as the case is subjudice, we are limited to the comments we can make as a responsible organisation. However, we have placed Andrew Ogbuja on suspension from our order, pending the determination of his case in court.
Noting that the death of Miss Elizabeth Ochanya Ochange at such a young age and in such a traumatic manner is regrettable; the Order re-affirmed that: “as an Order we have faithfully committed our talent, treasure and time, to work for God, the Church and the society at large. In these past years, we have also devoted great energy and time to our Pro-life programme, which we have faithfully carried out, with lectures in public schools, outdoor campaigns and public enlightenment, with dignity and sanctity of life as major advocacy thrusts.