FG Wades Into Alleged Sexual Assault Scandal at Queens College | Independent Newspapers Limited
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FG Wades Into Alleged Sexual Assault Scandal at Queens College

Posted: Mar 23, 2016 at 7:33 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


The Federal Government has waded into an alleged sexual assault on a JSS 2 female student of Queens College, Lagos, by a male teacher, setting up an investigative committee to look into the matter.

Apparently worried by the development, the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah constituted a five-man panel yesterday, which he also dispatched immediately to the college.

The panel’s mandate, whose members name and identities were concealed by the minister, are to unravel the veracity of the allegations being leveled against the teacher.

Mr. Olaseni Oshifala, a Biology teacher, at Queens College, was accused by a parent, Chinenye Okoye, of trying to kiss and touch the private part of her daughter, a JSS 2 pupil.

The alleged assault, however, went viral on social media, prompting the school Principal, Mrs Lami Amodu, to issue a  statement, saying the teacher and the college were being assailed by mischief makers who were out to tarnish the image of the college.

According to the school principal, the allegation was an attempt to ridicule, not just Osifala, but the “hard-earned reputation” of Queens College.

Her statement had read in part: “I have zero tolerance for such behaviour. I have a daughter who schools here, even before I became the Principal. I will not take chances.

“As I speak, no single parent has come to me or any of my Vice-Principals to report the teacher as a molester. I assure you that if the allegation was true, other parents would have been buzzing our lines non-stop”.

When contacted concerning the identities of members of the panel, the Deputy Director in charge of Basic and Secondary Education, told Independent Correspondent that the Minister deliberately concealed the names to avoid unnecessary pressure from interested parties due to the sensitive nature of their assignment.

He charged members of the panel to do a thorough investigation to unravel the truth behind the allegations, as well as make recommendations to Government on how to deal with the situation based on the principles of truth, justice and fairness to all parties.

Prof. Anwukah however advised parents, guardians, students and staff of Queens College who may have credible information on the matter to avail same to the committee via the following telephone number; 07034613096 and email; saniabdu59@yahoo.com.

He equally assured the general public, particularly parents and guardians whose wards are in any of the Unity Schools and other Federal Government Colleges that their children are in safe hands and that Government will continue to do everything possible within the ambit of the law to protect their wards in all government schools  across the country, including Queens College, Lagos.

He said,”let me also use the opportunity to advise all parents to remain calm and avoid taking rash decisions that may affect their wards adversely”.

The investigation panel has two (2) weeks within which to submit its report.

Meanwhile, the? Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of the school had, on Monday, set up a panel to also investigate the alleged sexual harassment in the College.

Chairman of the association,  Beatrice Akhetuanen, had told a news conference that the panel would be working with the Police Station in Sabo, Yaba to investigate the teacher accused of the act.

Online reports had claimed the teacher was usually drunk, and was in the habit of molesting the girl but was rescued by some of the girls on that fateful day.

The student’s mother had alleged that she reported the case to the House Mistress who confirmed the teacher was in the habit of doing such and there was nothing anyone could do to him.

She alleged that the case was also reported to the Vice Principal but she said the teacher would not be allowed to leave the school. That instead, her daughter would leave.

Mrs. Akhetuanen said no parent had reported any sexual harassment to the principal or vice principal and that the teacher was not living in the school.

The PTA chairman, however, pleaded with the aggrieved parent to come forth so that the case could be looked into.

”The so-called parent has not shown herself, all efforts to get her has proved abortive. When I tried calling the number I saw on the report, she did not pick her call”, she said.