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Foreign Affairs Minister Calls For Investigation Of Perm. Sec. Amb. Lamuwa For Sexually Harassing Pregnant Staff

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Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador, Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, has officially written the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan, about allegations of serial sexual harassment of a married, pregnant staff, Mrs. Simisola Fajemirokun Ajayi by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Ambassador, Ibrahim Lamuwa.

In a letter sighted by Channel Network Afrique, CNA, dated May 27 to the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Ambassador Tuggar said he felt it necessary to write her following the “gravity of the matter”.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has in the last five months try to manage the scandal by treating the issue as an internal affairs but decided to involve the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Yemi-Esan when the Permanent Secretary, persisted with his alleged sexual harassment despite several warnings by the Minister.

Four among other women allegedly harassed sexually by Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa have come forward to confirmed as well as have agreed to testify at the appropriate time.

The Pregnant victim, Mrs. Simisola Fajemirokun Ajayi, as a last resort to tackle the issue headlong through her lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, informed the Minister of Amb. Lamuwa’s sexual advances.

In a 14 paragraphs document entitled, Request for an investigation of Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa’s conducts of sexual harassment at the place of work, abuse of office official, intimidation and discrimination, signed by Adebayo Oniyelu, on behalf of Femi Falana, said the permanent secretary approached Ajayi on October 7, 2023, during the first policy retreat to review President Bola Tinubu’s 4D policy, to ask why she did not sleep at the hotel after the event.

The petition added that Amb. Lamuwa told Mrs. Ajayi that he would want her to come to his room after the event but she declined, saying she was a nursing mother and needed to go home to care for her baby.

“Is it a big baby or small baby?” the petition quoted Lamuwa as inquiring, adding that he would like to find out so he can join.

He, however, continued this line of inappropriate anecdotes throughout the retreat.

“On November 10, 2023: our client went to Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa’s conference room where he was working out to discuss the plans to digitize the Ministry.

“Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa invited her for a meeting later that afternoon with a team from Galaxy Backbone. During the conversation, Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa requested our client take a voyage with him to Hong Kong.

“He further assured our client that our client’s life would never remain the same after the trip.

“Our client left the scene in utter shock and disappointment because of the awkwardness of the Permanent Secretary, Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa’s discussion.
While our client was about to excuse herself, Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa thoughtlessly put his arms around our client’s arms and demanded a full frontal hug which she rejected.”

The petition said Amb. Lamuwa summoned Ajayi on another occasion and challenged her that she had not been to his office since February because she had grudges against him.

“He then offered our client to drink tea from his cup whilst forcefully putting his arms around our client and referring to her as a ‘stubborn woman’,” he said.

The petition added that a discreet investigation conducted by Ajayi revealed that other women, particularly female directors, were almost raped in their hotel rooms, adding that female foreign service officers have been harassed, threatened and removed from trips, postings and other privileges because they declined to comply with Lamuwa’s sexual urges.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs on his part however, urged the Head of Civil Service of the Federation to handle the matter dispassionately to serve as deterrent to others, adding that he would provide any assistance required for Yemi-Esan to discharge her duties.

While contacted, the Special Assistant on Media and communications to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alkasim Abdulkadir said “No comment, the matter is being looked into by the relevant authorities.”

The Spokesperson to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Abu-Obe Eche, could not be reached as his line was switched off.

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