THE Federal Government has commenced investigation into the alleged sexual assault on a Junior Secondary School II (JSS II) female student of Queen’s College, Lagos, by a male teacher.
Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwukah, who said government was disturbed by the alleged reports by the media, set up a panel to unravel the veracity of the allegation being levelled against the teacher.
The investigation panel has two weeks within which to submit its report.
Several reports from the conventional and social media in the past few days have indicated that there was an alleged case of sexual molestation of a JSS II student by a teacher in the same school.
Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Ben Goog, in a statement on Tuesday, in Abuja, said the minister charged members of the panel to have a thorough investigation to unravel the truth behind the allegation, as well as make recommendations to the government on how to deal with the situation based on the principles of truth, justice and fairness to all parties.
The statement advised parents, guardians, students and staff of Queen’s College, who may have credible information on this matter to avail same to the committee via telephone number 07034613096 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
The minister had, however, 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 government would continue to do everything possible within the ambit of the law to protect their wards in all government schools across the country, including the Queens College, Lagos.
Meanwhile, the embattled Biology teacher at Queen’s College, Lagos, Mr Olaseni Oshifala, who is being investigated over his alleged role in a sexual harassment case involving a JSS II girl, on Tuesday, said he was framed by people who were envious of his many achievements.
Oshifala spoke with a couple journalists at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) at Panti, Yaba, where he was being interrogated.
“I am not too surprised. Having won Best Teacher Award seven different times within the 13 years I have worked at Queen’s College, I expect some elements of jealousy. In fact, in 2015, I went home with six out of the seven available prizes. The prizes were given by the school, in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Education. Apart from these, I have worked with six different principals as their Personal Assistant (PA). And now, being the PA to the current principal, who just arrived, that can make some people jealous.
“The principal has said that I was recommended to her by numerous principals and even a former principal of King’s College, Lagos. It’s not me going to them or lobbying for the position, they call me. I was also the maintenance officer of the college. When the former principal was posted here, some people quickly went to her and persuaded her to make another person maintenance officer and I was removed. But soon, things started missing. Government property was being taken away from the school. People were caught with raw food, building materials, cooking gas. I blew the whistle by reporting it to the then principal and the maintenance officer was removed and I was again appointed maintenance officer,” he said.
Oshifala also alleged that his travails were not unconnected with what he called “a seniority tussle” among members of the school’s Old Girls Association.
Attempts made to speak with the president of the association, Mrs Shirley Okharedia, were unsuccessful.
Normalcy had, however, returned to the college on Tuesday, when Nigerian Tribune visited, as students and teachers were seen carrying on with their normal activities.
SSIII students had on Monday staged a protest to register their support for their Biology teacher.
It was gathered that while the protest was going on, Oshifala was being interrogated at the office of the Commissioner of Police, where he was held until after 7.00 p.m.”
The Federal Ministry of Education, it was also learnt, had set up a team to investigate the allegations.