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Petition: Foreign Minister Wants Perm Sec Probed For Sexual Harassment

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf M. Tuggar, has requested the Head of Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan to investigate a petition alleging sexual misconduct against the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa.

The petitioner, a married government official, Simisola Fajemirokun Ajayi, had lodged a formal complaint through her lawyer, Femi Falana.

The petition dated May 29, 2024, and signed on behalf of Falana by Adebayo A. Oniyelu, accused the permanent secretary of sexual harassment, abuse of office, intimidation, and discrimination.

In his letter to Yemi-Esan, Ambassador Tuggar wrote, “I am compelled to write to inform you of a formal complaint against the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa on allegations of sexual harassment.

“Bearing in mind the gravity of the matter, I feel it necessary to draw your attention to it and ask that you handle it accordingly.”

The petition outlines several incidents of alleged inappropriate behaviour by Lamuwa. One such incident reportedly occurred on October 7, 2023, during a policy retreat.

Lamuwa is accused of making advances toward Ajayi, asking her to come to his room and making inappropriate comments about her being a nursing mother.

Another alleged incident on November 10, 2023, involved Lamuwa inviting Ajayi to travel to Hong Kong with him, implying that the trip would change her life.

During the conversation, Lamuwa allegedly demanded a hug, which Ajayi refused.

Ajayi’s lawyer detailed additional incidents, including one where Lamuwa reportedly put his arms around Ajayi and referred to her as a “stubborn woman,” insisting on a hug.

The petition further claims that Lamuwa’s behaviour has created a hostile work environment and that other female staff members have also faced similar harassment and threats.

“Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa’s conduct has created an unsafe and uncomfortable working environment for our client and other staff within your Ministry due to the disturbing experiences and ordeals from the Permanent Secretary,” the petition states.

In response to these allegations, Tuggar has assured his cooperation and willingness to assist in the investigation.

“Please find attached a copy of the complaint I received via email. May I also assure you that I remain available to provide you with any assistance required in discharging your responsibilities,” he wrote to Yemi-Esan.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has yet to release an official statement regarding the allegations.

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