Disclosure News

Factual Reportage

Following an alleged sexual harassment of a female ministry staff member, the Head of Service (HoS) has suspended the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ibrahim Lamuwa, even as he insists that he is a man of integrity.

The Permanent Secretary Lamuwa according to the Head of Service, Folashade Yemi-Esan would be on suspension pending the conclusion of a probe into the allegation against him.

“The permanent secretary has been suspended pending the outcome of the probe by the committee set up, “ a senior director in the OHCSF said. It was learnt that following a petition submitted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, against Lamuwa, the HoS constituted a committee to look into the matter.

The Men Against Rape Foundation (MARF) had also called for the immediate suspension of the Permanent Secretary pending the outcome of an investigation into serious allegations of sexual harassment while commending the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, “for his decisive and courageous action in bringing these allegations to light.”

In an electronic statement issued by the Foundation’s Executive Director, Lemmy Ughegbe, and Director of Development Communication, Mr. Augustine Eigbe, the Foundation expressed their appreciation for Tuggar’s integrity in addressing the issue head-on.

“We applaud the Minister’s refusal to adhere to the typical code of silence often observed in high offices and his commitment to ensuring justice and accountability.. The Foundation’s stance is clear: any form of harassment and abuse of power must be met with swift and decisive action to protect victims and uphold ethical standards.

“We call for a comprehensive and impartial investigation into the allegations against Ibrahim Lamuwa… The Foreign Affairs Minister’s actions set a powerful precedent for leaders across all sectors, reinforcing that no one is above the law.

“Therefore MARF hopes this incident will mark a significant turning point in the fight against sexual harassment and abuse in Nigerian workplaces”

Simisola Fajemirokun Ajayi, a married ministry employee, made the allegation in a petition to Minister of Foreign Affairs Yusuf Tuggar, which was submitted by her lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN). The petition detailed allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct by the permanent secretary.

Ajayi, in the petition filed by her lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), outlined alleged instances of harassment.

In a letter addressed to the Head of Service on May 27, 2024, Tuggar expressed his concern over the serious nature of the allegations involving the permanent secretary.

“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 minister stated in the letter.

An official familiar with the case revealed on Wednesday that following the receipt of Tuggar’s letter on the allegation against Lamuwa, the HoS set up a probe panel.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “Yes, the Head of Service has set up a committee to probe the whole matter. There are pieces of evidence, which will be tabled and witnesses who will also be invited to speak on the matter, so it is not a matter that will be swept under the carpet.

“The minister (Tuggar) is also very much interested in the outcome. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a special ministry that operates even outside the shores of the country, so you can’t expect that an issue of such gravity will be swept under the carpet.”

Ajayi had, in a petition dated May 29, 2024 and addressed to Tuggar, accused the permanent secretary of serial sexual harassment.

Her petition, signed by Adebayo A. Oniyelu LP of Falana & Falana’s, was titled “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.”

There she narrated multiple instances of harassment allegedly by Lamuwa, which had created an unsafe and uncomfortable working environment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *