Mr. Olaseni Oshifala, the Biology teacher in Queen’s College, Lagos, has been cleared of alleged rape of a Junior Secondary Two (JSS II) student after an investigative panel set up by the Ministry of Education could not establish any evidence to indict him.
While explaining the panel report to newsmen on Friday in Abuja, the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah said the mother of the alleged victim failed to appear before the committee to prove her case, adding that the committee was open to revisit the issue if there was need for it in the nearest future.
His word: ” When we received the report of the Committee on Monday 25th April 2016, again we set up a 5-man Committee to study the report and prepare a draft White Paper.
“Members of this committee are: Mr. Lawrence Ogundana -Chairman, (Director, Library Services); Mrs. Justina Ngozi Ibe, member; (Director, Education Support Services) Mrs. Gbemi Ajibade, member; (Director Legal Services), Prof. Godswill Obioma-member; (Special Assistant (Technical) to the Honourable Minister of State for Education), Mr. Adebayo Odejinmi – Member/Secretary; and (Deputy Director, Office of the Permanent Secretary).
“We are pleased to address this Press Conference today in order to share with you, as well as students, teachers, parents, relevant stakeholders and indeed the general public, the recommendations of the Investigation Committee, and Government’s position on all issues relating to the allegation.
“Summary of Recommendations of the Investigation Committee. The Investigation Committee did not establish any credible evidence against the accused teacher, considering the fact that Mrs. Chinenye Okoye remained unidentified, faceless and inaccessible despite the Committee’s best efforts and assurances to protect her identity and that of her daughter.
“Consequently, the Investigation Committee finds it difficult to recommend disciplinary action against the accused teacher as the complainant failed to come forward to prove this weighty accusation.
“From the various interactions held with the past Principals of the College and the current Management of the College, the Committee observed that the College had zero tolerance for such vices as sexual molestations, as prompt actions were always taken in the past cases of alleged inappropriate behaviour or sexual molestation by Staff.
“Therefore, the Committee could not establish any cover up of Sexual Molestation by the Management of Queens College as alleged in Mr. Osifala’s case.
“Furthermore, 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.
“Government position: the Federal Ministry of Education notes and accepts all the recommendations of the Committee and will take actions as appropriate.”