Queens students deny allegation of sexual molestation by teacher
• Lagos Assembly orders probe • Investigation ongoing, says PTA
Students of Queens College, Yaba, Lagos, yesterday staged a protest in defence of one of their teachers, Mr. Olaseni Oshifala, who was accused of alleged sexual harassment.
The placard-carrying students loudly denied the allegation saying the story, which went viral on the social media, was a mere fabrication.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday, ordered a probe into the allegations, as it directed its House Committee on Education to investigate the matter, ahead of inviting relevant state authorities.
Member of the House, Funmilayo Tejuoso, who brought the matter to the plenary, informed the House of the public outcry against the teacher that was alleged to have attempted sexual attempts on a student, and to the knowledge of the school authority.
Tejuoso, representing Mushin I Constituency, noted that the allegation was quite serious and would be quite damaging to the students if true, and if untrue, would still be damaging to the teacher.
House Committee Chairman on education, Lanre Ogunyemi, informed that the alleged incident happened about a month ago and was reported on the social media because the school authority failed to take action on the teacher.
According to the report, a parent, Mrs. Chinenye Okoye, had alleged that Oshifala, an Integrated Science teacher of Queens College, Yaba, who resides in the school premises, had sexually assaulted her daughter, a JSS 2 pupil of the school.
The Guardian checks revealed that while on one hand, some claimed Oshifala was guilty as accused, others including his colleagues, students and a former principal dismissed the allegation outright as sheer blackmail.
When The Guardian contacted the complainant, Okoye, on the phone number displayed online, to inquire about the incident, the true caller (a software that identifies unknown numbers) identified her as Tosin Flask. Though, the call was answered but the receiver who identified herself as Tope feigned ignorance of the whole matter.
Addressing newsmen on the issue, Chairman of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of the college, Mrs. Beatrice Akhetuamen, wondered why a parent whose child was allegedly molested did not deem it necessary to report to the PTA.
She said, “QC is very particular about the safety of the residents of the college, students and teachers. Hence we recently invested in CCTV cameras situated in strategic parts of the college. Upon hearing the sexual harassment reports, the school authorities swung into action even though we are yet to receive any official report, oral or written from any parent or student to that effect.
“The college has set up an investigation panel to look into the matter, we have also reported to Sabo police station and they are part of the investigation. I have two daughters here, when I queried them about it, they laughed it off. We would get to the root of the matter; we are not covering up for any body. We are trying to see who is telling the truth. Our interest is for the wellbeing of every child here.”
Effort to reach Oshifala wasn’t successful but in an interview he granted to online blog, he said, “I am worried about this matter because there is no truth in it. It is not the first time I have been accused falsely. Students have openly confessed to being recruited to frame me up in the past. The teachers were there. They can tell you the truth. All I want is to be the best teacher I possibly can. The reason I always win the awards is a function of my drive for excellence.”