Against the backdrop of Queen’s College sexual assault saga involving a JSS 2 female student and Mr. Olaseni Osifala, a biology teacher in the school, the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, on Tuesday, established a panel of investigation to make inquires into the claim.
A statement released on Monday in Abuja, by the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Bem Goong, said;
“Worried by the development, the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwuka, constituted a five-man panel on Tuesday (yesterday), which he also dispatched immediately to the college. The panel, whose members’ identities were concealed by the minister, is to unravel the veracity of the allegations leveled against the teacher.”
The statement said the Minister mandated the 5-man panel to unearth the truth behind the claim and make suggestions to the government on how best to handle the situation based on the principles of truth, justice and fairness to all parties.
Anwuka further counseled parents, guardians, students and staff of the institution who may have reliable information about the case to make it available to the panel by contacting them through the mobile phone number 07034613096 or email: [email protected]
The statement reads in part:
“Apparently disturbed by media reports over alleged sexual assault on a JSS II female student of Queens College, Lagos by a male teacher in the same school, the minister has set up a panel to unravel the veracity of the allegations being leveled against the teacher.
“Several reports from the conventional and social media networks in the past few days have indicated that there was an alleged case of sexual molestation on a JSS II student by a teacher in the same school.
“The Minister has 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.
“He said that the 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.’’
As recorded in the statement, the committee has two weeks to submit the report of its findings.
In the same vein, the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of the school on Monday also set up a committee to investigate the allegation and as Mrs. Beatrice Akhetuanen, the Chairman of the panel said, it was necessary to investigate the case thoroughly.
It was gathered that the accused teacher was usually drunk and molested the JSS2 student habitually but she was however rescued by some of the other female students on the day he was caught in the act.
According to Mrs. Chinenye Okoye, the mother of the victim, Mr. Oshifala made sexual advances at her daughter by kissing and touching her private parts. This, she reported to the house mistress who gave support to the fact that the teacher was known for consistently molesting the students of the all-girls school sexually, and no one could do anything to him.
Mrs. Okoye also claimed that she notified the school’s vice principal of the matter, but received the response that the teacher would not be relieved of his duty, threatening instead that her daughter would have to leave the school.
Following how widespread the story has become, the Principal of the school, Mrs. Lami Amodu, had no choice but to give a statement exonerating the teacher of any ill-doing. She further stated that the claim was an attempt by people who brew mischief to mar the “hard-earned reputation” of Queen’s College.
“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.”