By Paul Obi in Abuja
Following the disciplinary panel set up by the Federal Ministry of Education to probe alleged sexual molestation on one Miss Okoye of Queens College, Lagos, the panel has exonerated the teacher, Mr. Olaseni Osifala of any culpability in the matter.
The 7-Man Committee which completed its works some weeks ago, made its findings public, but could not establish any credible evidence against the accused teacher, given that Mrs. Chinenye Okoye, mother of Miss Okoye who raised the allegation failed to physically present herself before the panel to back up the allegations.
Director Internal Audit, Federal Ministry of Education, Paul Boyo, who chaired the committee explained that despite various calls and appeal to protect the identity of the Okoyes, the mother failed to show-up to present her case.
The committee in its recommendation, argued that the absence of the mother and daughter left the committee handicapped in recommending appropriate disciplinary action against the accused teacher.
The Federal Government in a move to arrest the alleged ugly incident in the sexual scandal involving the college, had on the 22nd of March 2016, set up a 7-man investigation panel to look into allegation of sexual molestation of a junior secondary school II student of Queen’s College, Yaba, Lagos.
The move was initiated after several pressure on government and reports from the conventional and social media networks, accusing a teacher of the college, Mr. Osifala of allegedly molesting one Miss Okoye, a student of the college.
The allegation was supposedly made by the girl’s mother, one Mrs. Chinenye Okoye.
The panel had shortly after inauguration stormed the institution with the aim of ascertaining the veracity of the allegation.
Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah who read out government’s position on the matter, on Friday, clearly exonerated the teacher.
Anwukah said, “The Committee could not establish any cover up of sexual molestation by the management of Queens College as alleged in Mr. Osifala’s case.
“Anyone with information that can lead to identifying the alleged victim or her mother or with any credible and substantiated evidence that was not earlier made available to the investigation Committee during their sittings on the allegation against the teacher can still approach the Ministry accordingly.
“The Federal Ministry of Education notes and accepts all the recommendations of the Committee and will take actions as appropriate”.
Anwukah further stated that in the course of the panel’s assignment, they called for memoranda from the principal, the Queens College Old Girls Association, the Parents Teachers Association, the concerned mother (Mrs. Chinenye Okoye), Mr. Osifala (the accused teacher), teachers and members of staff of the college, Students’ Representative Council, the School-Based-Management Committee and the general public.
The minister also informed journalists that the panel took oral evidence from relevant stakeholders before submitting its report on Monday 25th April 2016,following which another 5-man committee was instituted to study the report and present a draft White Paper on the issue.