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Panel begins probe of sexual harassment, cholera deaths at Queen’s College

Panel begins probe of sexual harassment, cholera deaths at Queen’s College
November 06
14:54 2017
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The panel set up by the ministry of education to probe sexual harassment and cholera outbreak at Queen’s College, Yaba, Lagos, will visit the school on Tuesday.

A source told TheCable that while Tuesday would be used to hear the issues surrounding the cholera outbreak which led to the deaths of three students, Wednesday would be for the investigation of sexual harassment.

The ministry inaugurated the committee after TheCable launched CRY FOR JUSTICE campaign, following tragic incidents at Queen’s College.

Vivian Osuinyi, 13, Bithia Itulua, 12, and Praise Sodipo,14, – all students of the school- died of complications from gastroenteritis, which they contracted from drinking contaminated water at the school.

The students died between February and March 2017.

Adamu Adamu, minister of education, had told TheCable that his ministry would probe those who were in charge of the school at the time of the deaths.

Adamu also told this newspaper that the case of Olaseni Oshifala, the biology teacher, accused of sexually molesting students of the college, would be revisited.

In March 2016, Chinenye Okoye, a student of the school, had alleged that Oshifala sexually molested her.

An investigative panel set up by the education ministry cleared Oshifala of any wrongdoing because “none of his accusers was willing to testify publicly”.

“The investigation committee did not establish any credible evidence against the accused teacher, considering the fact that Chinenye Okoye remained unidentified, faceless and inaccessible despite the committee’s best efforts and assurances to protect her identity and that of her daughter,” Anthony Anwukah, the minister of state for education, had said.

But Queen’s College old girls association had set up a fact-finding panel which indicted the teacher and also revealed that the accusation by Chinenye was the sixth against Oshifala.

Oshifala has since been posted to King’s College, an all-boys school.

Many stakeholders believe the matter had been swept under the carpet until the CRY FOR JUSTICE series published by TheCable.

Recently, TheCable launched #BreakTheSilence to fight sexual harassment in schools.

The hashtag was inspired by the undercover investigation of TheCable into schoolgirls pimping at the Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Langtang, Plateau state.

One of the security guards employed to protect students was ready to pimp the girls to strangers for N5,000.

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