Anthony Anwukah, minister of state for education, has constituted a panel to investigate alleged sexual assault on a female student of Queen’s College, Lagos.
Ben Goong, director of press in the ministry of education, disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday.
The statement said the minister was worried over the allegation, and had charged the panel to unravel the truth behind the allegation and make recommendations to government based on the principles of truth, justice and fairness to all parties.
It advised parents, guardians, students and staff of Queen’s College who had credible information on the matter to avail same to the committee via the following telephone number: 07034613096 and email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Apparently disturbed by media reports over alleged sexual assault on a JSS II female student of Queen’s 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,” the statement read.
“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 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.”
The statement said the panel has two weeks to submit its report.
An aggrieved parent had accused Olaseni Oshifala, a male teacher in the school, of sexually abusing her daughter, an allegation that the school authorities denied, describing it as a ridiculous attempt to tarnish the teacher’s image along with the reputation of the school.
“When this news reached me, I summoned an emergency meeting of all the critical stakeholders. We all discussed before inviting Mr Osifala. Every one of my staff says positive things about the man. Of course they were all here (Queens College) before me, so they are qualified to assess members of staff properly,” the principal said in a statement.
“Let us not forget that Olaseni worked with five different principals, all of who also told me good words about him, despite the various allegations against him, I have investigated and we are not relenting in our determination to get to the bottom of this case. The man in question has been of impeccable character and committed service since I resumed work here. I can vouch for him.”
But the parent maintained her stand, saying there was an attempt to shield Osifala from justice.
On Monday, students of the school abandoned their examination for several hours while staging a solidarity protest for Osifala.