FG Suspends Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Perm Sec Over ‘Sexual Harassment’

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ibrahim Lamuwa, has been suspended by the Office of the Head of Service due to allegations of sexual harassment.

Naija News reports that the Head of Service, Folashade Yemi-Esan, has constituted a committee to investigate the matter and the permanent secretary will remain on suspension until the outcome of the probe.

“The permanent secretary has been suspended pending the outcome of the probe by the committee set up, “ a senior director in the OHCSF told The PUNCH.

The allegations against Lamuwa were brought to the attention of the Head of Service by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, through a petition submitted on behalf of a staff member, Simisola Ajayi.

Ajayi has accused Lamuwa of serial sexual harassment, creating an unsafe and uncomfortable working environment.

The petition, signed by Adebayo A. Oniyelu of Falana & Falana’s, detailed multiple instances of harassment, including inappropriate advances and remarks made by Lamuwa during a policy retreat on October 7, 2023, and an incident on November 10, 2023, where Lamuwa allegedly invited Ajayi to travel to Hong Kong with promises of personal benefits.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, in a letter addressed to the Head of Service on May 27, 2024, expressed concern over the gravity of the allegations and requested that the matter be handled accordingly.

“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 has confirmed that a probe panel has been set up and pieces of evidence and witnesses will be gathered to investigate the matter thoroughly.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the matter, 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.

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