Powerful politicians and other players thinking of meddling in the judicial process towards justice for Ochanya Ogbanje had better think twice. This is because the Idoma National Forum, (INF) is on its guard to expose and embarrass such players. The Forum is saying it wants “prompt and appropriate justice” to be done this time unlike when similar cases in the past were never heard again after the initial hysteria.
The position is the outcome of an emergency meeting in the aftermath of Ochanya’s burial attended by Executive Council officials of the cultural platform which has also quietly shed its English name in favour of Ochetoha K’Idoma, which translates to ‘coming together of Idoma’. The Forum said carrying the judicial process to the logical conclusion would serve as deterrence to others, adding that this is more so that both the victim and the accused are all Idoma and are all human beings.
Beyond watching out against use of power to determine the outcome of the case which is already in court, the Forum is also setting out on an awareness campaign against the vulnerability of the girl child to perverts and easily tempted individuals. The details of this campaign are already being worked out, said the cultural platform.
The Forum’s stance might not be unconnected with two separate developments. One is the widely held belief that a particular politician influenced Mr Andrew Ogbuja’s bail the first time Ochanya’s case went to court before her death. That rumor has since turned out to be untrue as the said politician had no hand in that bail which followed a completely different logic. The second development is the fact that about the same time the Ochanya saga broke out, a similar one was also playing out in Otukpo. The only difference between the two being that the victim of the Otukpo case is alive but pregnant from being raped by someone 47 years older than her. These and other sorry stories across the land might have triggered the tough oversight stance of the INF.